Probation officer Kurtis Robertson check Shelly Butler"s new apartment to make certain she is adhering to probation rules. Stuart Johnson, barisalcity.org Morning News
PROVO — Shelly servant beams as she scans the small apartment through dingy white paint. Her bedroom is likewise the living room and the kitchen is the size of a cloak closet, but she doesn"t care — it"s no a motel room.

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"I"ve been in all of them, bouncing ago and forth," she says, introduce to subsidized motel rooms in downtown Provo — the City Center, Amenity Inn, executive Inn and also Suites and Travelers Inn. "They"re no nice."

She didn"t choose the fighting and also the drugs. Even an ext than that, she said, it was a pervasive feeling of instability that gained her down.

Butler, who offered to be taken into consideration a transient, is working part time and looking for one more job so she can obtain a enlarge place. For every one of her excitement, though, she still has to confront the facts: the apartment is not really hers.

"People don"t desire to rent to me," the 38-year-old mrs said.

Her past felony medicine charges didn"t just land her in jail, they"ve additionally cramped she future chances for jobs and also apartments.

Her friend had to rental the apartment because that the two of them.

The barisalcity.org Morning News has talked v numerous world working come climb out of the rut of drug use, alcohol abuse and also homelessness. Countless attend treatment sessions, job-related with mentors, complete service hours, look because that jobs and meet through counselors — all driven by a desire for a much better life.

But it"s difficult when the society they desire to rejoin won"t accept them.

"There"s a entirety lot of civilization who room so marginalized," claimed Ann Iroz, who works v recovering medicine addicts at the Utah County division of substance Abuse together a drug Offender revolutionary Act therapist. "If you don"t prosper up with some type of assistance already, you"re no going to get it native the community."

Those marginalized people in the valley encompass 29 chronically homeless individuals, according to a fairly rough calculation from a "point-in-time" research done in January 2007 by the continually of Care, a group of nearly 40 agencies trying to alleviate homelessness in Utah County.

But that doesn"t account for the hundreds of human being living in emergency shelters, transitional housing, dingy motels or the Utah county Jail through no permanent place to contact home — people the neighborhood doesn"t see.

"These folks have actually a roof over their head and they"re no freezing, therefore things should be OK," stated Gene Carly, executive, management director that the housing Authority that Utah County. "That"s an excellent that they"re not freezing, but it doesn"t really typical that they have actually a secure environment."

Utah County"s continuous of treatment is consisted of of city, county and also state agencies, and also local charity organizations, religious groups and federal offices.

Member groups range from the Provo Police department to the U.S. Department of Housing and also Urban Development. The groups want to attend to the absence of housing, and all the difficulties not having actually a home creates, Carly said.

For homeless families, children often miss out on out ~ above educational and health opportunities. And without a bathroom, parents can"t clean us to watch presentable because that a job, for this reason perpetuating the poverty cycle.

"The an ext we learn around these issues, the more complicated they are," claimed Bill Hulterstrom, president of the United means of Utah County. "It is no a cookie-cutter (solution). We have to learn collectively as a ar how to placed our resources in the right place to truly give human being a opportunity to get back on your feet."

In a 48-page applications for money indigenous the U.S. Department of Housing and also Urban Development, the continually of care outlined the goals, objectives and obstacles in addressing the concern of homelessness end the next 10 years.

A significant step was the Utah county Jail"s Re-Entry help Program (REAP), i m sorry pairs former inmates v mentors, then places the clients in county-subsidized apartments.

"What we"re act is giving civilization an opportunity to readjust their lives," Carly said. "Time will be the ultimate check to view whether or no it works. Yet I think many of them recognize this might be really their just hope to stop the revolving door in between jail, law enforcement, the court system and earlier to jail."

The Food and also Care Coalition additionally is to plan to rest ground in the feather for a transitional housing unit v 37 an individual units, linking clients with project opportunities, addiction and also mental-health counseling and treatment options — providing clients help and hope.

"The civilization of ours that struggle with substance abuse, they require time turn off the highways to emphasis away from, "Where am i gonna sleep tonight?" or "Where will I eat tomorrow?"" said Brent Crane, executive, management director that the friends of the Coalition, which manages the Food and Care Coalition.

"Life isn"t easy ... (and) we want to reprimand them for the situation they"re in. I"m not saying over there isn"t personal accountability ... Yet the way back isn"t to blame and also ostracize. It"s come love, and to balance that (love) with an individual accountability and access to an excellent services and great information," Crane said.

The goal in this sector is "housing first" — a focus on moving world from transitional real estate units to irreversible housing. And that permanent housing needs to it is in affordable.

Each month, the housing Authority of Utah County provides rent vouchers to almost 950 family members — section 8 vouchers for people whose income falls below the poor line and Shelter Plus treatment vouchers to people who were formerly homeless.

With mean rent payments of $450, the housing authority pays practically $428,000 a month, and almost 700 families are on the waiting perform for help.

"If this folks space homeless, the cost to the neighborhood is going to be, I assure you, a whole lot higher than $450 a month," Carly said.

If substance abuse is involved, the price tag go up even higher, including on the cost of legislation enforcement, courts, lawyers.

The U.S. Department of Housing and also Urban development (HUD) gave practically $70 million throughout fiscal year 2007 to Utah for section 8 housing vouchers and also Shelter Plus treatment vouchers, stated Dwight A. Peterson, ar office director because that the Salt Lake City HUD office.

But even with an ext money for much more apartments, it"s hard to aid felons weave back into the system when plenty of landlords won"t rental to those through felony backgrounds.

"We run a criminal report top top every applicant," claimed Tom Wood, chief operating officer that Evergreene Management, i m sorry doesn"t rent to anyone with a felony record. "The key reason that we tell everyone "no felonies" is we can frequently qualify because that a an excellent neighbor or crime-free real estate program, and we deserve to express that as a selling point to residents. They know everyone else has gone v the very same screening process. The brings peace of psychic to citizens and brand-new applicants."

But Brad Sears, REMS Inc. Owner and property manager, acknowledges it"s a good line in between compassion and also self-protection.

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His agency has always run credit checks once renting the end apartments but is currently planning to run criminal checks as well, setting brand-new policies that room fair and also equal because that everyone.

"It"s tough," Sears said. "You can"t blame the landlord, he"s trying to defend others. But you feel negative for the human who yes, really made a mistake once they to be younger (and) need to pay the price because that that, forever in some cases. It would be nice come have an easy answer, but there"s no one."