Homeless Tension in Salt Lake City

By Joseph Gramsci

SALT LAKE CITY: As winter approaches Utah, a state notorious for its freezing temperatures, the Salt Lake City government has decided to close the non-profit homeless shelter, The Road Home. The site will be demolished and the city hopes that the empty lot will sell for around four million dollars.

“It’s a pretty good piece of property in the downtown area, and there’s not a lot of property down there that is for sale,” said Jim Russell, director of Utah’s Division of Facilities, Construction and Management. Though the city built two new homeless shelters, with a third one on the way, they are already turning people away which shows that these new shelters do not have the capacity or the resources to handle SLC’s extensive homeless population. Why is it that the city is closing down The Road Home before it has confirmation that these new shelters will be able to take care of the homeless population?

The obvious answer is the fact that the decision to close The Road Home was not made for the benefit of the people, but for the benefit of business owners in the area. It is well known that The Road Home’s presence receives much scrutiny from the businesses in the area. For example, it is a widely held belief that The Road Home’s existence in its current location is the reason that the Gateway Mall, just down the street, declined in business and has become a vague husk of its former self. The closure of The Road Home is nothing but an attempt to raise the property values in the area and to please the local bourgeoisie and petit-bourgeoisie. The lives of the semi-proletarians and lumpen experiencing homelessness mean nothing to them. They all know that these new shelters will not be able to provide for all the homeless, even less so than what they had before. They want people to freeze to death this winter so they don’t have to deal with them anymore. This is the only explanation. Our city government, making deals with the city’s bourgeoisie, signed off on the death of hundreds of people just for profit.

This fact caught the attention of the leftist organisations within the city. A protest was just held at a city council meeting earlier this month. Dozens of protesters drowned the meeting out demanding that The Road Home be kept open until at least April. The city council just simply walked out of the meeting proving to everyone that they are nothing but cowards. One Hundred people protested in front of The Road Home itself, but to no avail. The city council, along with the local bourgeoisie and petit-bourgeoisie, consider their decision to be set in stone. The local chapters of Black Lives Matter, Party for Socialism and Liberation, The Brown Berets, and For the People (FTP-SLC) recently held homeless outreaches, with many more to come. It is absolutely necessary to make sure that the homeless will be equipped for this winter since many of them previously have relied on The Road Home’s presence.

The murder of the semi-proletariat and lumpen/proletariat will continue until the dictatorship of the proletariat is established. No amount of electoralism or welfarism can permanently help them. As long as the bourgeoisie is in power the semi and lumpen/proletariat will always be cast off and left to die unless their existence as a reserve of labor power is once again needed. To the bourgeoisie, four million dollars and raised property values are worth more than the lives of hundreds of people. If you would like to help FTP-SLC with our homeless outreaches, you can donate to their GoFundMe at: gf.me/u/vw4hns

Or, you can donate to our new Cash App: $FTPSLC