Salt Lake City is home to approximately 194,000 people, and just like any other urban area, it faces a crisis of a community in need – the homeless community.
Bernice White Swan, a homeless woman, said, “I would say, you know loss of job, loss of a loved one, anything could cause homelessness. It happens to everybody.”
Government officials said the two biggest causes of increasing homelessness in Salt Lake County are population growth and rising rent. According to the most recent census, in 2010 the population in Salt Lake County grew by 10.3 percent.
Benjamin Battle, a homeless man, said, “Homelessness comes from a failure to keep an economical thing going in your home. To keep, you know, a revenue coming [to] your home where you can take care of your bills. If someone loses their job in the family, the bread winner, it seems, as my experience, the whole house hold goes down.”
Many believe that the homeless are lazy and are not interested in contributing back to the community. Swan said, “We’re real people. Nothing wrong with us. Don’t be scared of us.”
Battle said, “Take a conscious effort to join these alcohol and drug programs, and really get what you can get out of them to help the people that’s trying to help.”
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