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Discussing Salt Lake's Homeless Problem With Tribune Reporter Chris Smart on Monday's Access Utah


Salt Lake Tribune reporter Christopher Smart reports that “News is spreading across the country on the state of homelessness in downtown Salt Lake City — and it isn't pretty.

Just over the Fourth of July holiday, a professional baseball player was attacked and suffered a concussion. And a car plowed into a group of homeless people on a sidewalk, killing one and sending five others to the hospital.

These are just the latest in a string of events that continues to frustrate officials, police and business owners surrounding the effort to make the Rio Grande area safer.

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes was more than a little perplexed Wednesday in the aftermath of the auto-pedestrian accident, which occurred Tuesday evening around the corner from The Road Home.

‘The violence and what is going on there is escalating," Hughes said Wednesday. "When it gets that out of hand, you can have a discussion about the National Guard with a straight face.’"

This news comes just a couple of years after Utah was in the spotlight in a much more positive way, with reports that the state was approaching its goal of ending chronic homelessness.

Salt Lake Tribune reporter Christopher Smart will join us today to talk about homelessness in Utah.


Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.