SALT LAKE CITY — In the Road Home’s first meeting with other members of the Collective Impact on Homelessness Steering Committee since a state audit last month criticized its enforcement of rules, shelter officials presented a tiered list of tenant violations designed to help “properly classify” violations and “guide decision making and response by staff.”
The document, called a security incident grid, is considered a first draft and includes the disclaimer that “supervisors are expected to exercise discretion in handling each situation based on the severity of the issue(s) and circumstances involved.”
“Depending on the seriousness of the issue(s), steps can be repeated or omitted if the facts of the situation warrant it,” the document says.
For minor violations, which include an infraction as benign as not making progress toward housing, it’s “not like somebody’s going to get a ruler over the knuckles,” said Matt Minkevitch, executive director of the Road Home.
Instead, minor infractions are “indicators somebody’s having a challenge and we need to learn more about what their situation is,” Minkevitch told the committee.
A so-called Violation A would include possessing alcohol, vandalism, “abusive language or behavior” that is nonetheless non-threatening, or accessing an “unauthorized area of the shelter,” according to the document.
A mid-tier Violation B, requiring a review before the person would be allowed back into the shelter, would arise from a severe but non-violent incident. It would include possession of drugs for personal use, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of any weapon besides a firearm, destroying property, stealing, or threatening staff.
A Violation C, the most severe category, would include attacking other tenants or staff, possessing a firearm, or possession of a distributable amount of drugs.
This most severe level of rule-breaking would require a call to police and immediately result in the person being kicked out of the facility. Afterward, it “requires review by (a) supervisor before re-entry” to the shelter, the draft document says.
The Office of the Legislative Auditor General said in an audit published in May that it had “serious concerns about the health and safety of the residents” at the downtown Salt Lake shelter and the family shelter in Midvale, both operated by the Road Home.
“These problems are largely due to a lax enforcement of the rules and procedures designed to prevent drug use and to provide a secure environment in those facilities,” the report said.
Minkevitch promised state legislators at the time that “we will revisit our rules,” …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Business News