Probation officer Kurtis Robertson check Shelly Butler"s new apartment to make certain she is adhering to probation rules. Stuart Johnson, stclairdrake.net Morning News
PROVO — Shelly butler beams as she scans the tiny apartment v dingy white paint. She bedroom is likewise the life room and the kitchen is the dimension of a coat closet, however she doesn"t care — it"s no a motel room.

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"I"ve to be in every one of them, bouncing earlier and forth," she says, referring to subsidized motel rooms in downtown Provo — the City Center, Amenity Inn, executive, management Inn and Suites and Travelers Inn. "They"re no nice."

She didn"t choose the fighting and the drugs. Even much more than that, she said, it to be a pervasive emotion of instability that got her down.

Butler, who provided to be considered a transient, is working part time and looking for one more job so she can gain a bigger place. For all of her excitement, though, she still has actually to face the facts: the apartment is no really hers.

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

Her previous felony drug charges didn"t just land her in jail, they"ve additionally cramped she future possibilities for jobs and apartments.

Her friend had to rent the apartment for the 2 of them.

The stclairdrake.net Morning News has actually talked through numerous world working to climb the end of the rut of drug use, alcohol abuse and homelessness. Numerous attend therapy sessions, work-related with mentors, complete service hours, look because that jobs and meet with counselors — all thrust by a desire because that a far better life.

But it"s hard when the society they desire to rejoin won"t expropriate them.

"There"s a totality lot of human being who are so marginalized," said Ann Iroz, that works v recovering medicine addicts in ~ the Utah County division of substance Abuse together a drug Offender reform Act therapist. "If you don"t flourish up v some sort of support already, you"re not going to get it native the community."

Those marginalized people in the valley include 29 chronically homeless individuals, follow to a fairly rough estimate from a "point-in-time" study done in January 2007 through the continuum of Care, a group of virtually 40 organ trying to minimize homelessness in Utah County.

But that doesn"t account for the hundreds of civilization living in emergency shelters, transitional housing, dingy motels or the Utah ar Jail v no permanent ar to speak to home — people the community doesn"t see.

"These folks have a roof over your head and also they"re no freezing, for this reason things have to be OK," stated Gene Carly, executive director that the housing Authority that Utah County. "That"s great that they"re not freezing, yet it doesn"t really median that they have actually a secure environment."

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

Member groups range from the Provo Police room to the U.S. Room of Housing and Urban Development. The groups want to resolve the absence of housing, and all the difficulties not having actually a residence creates, Carly said.

For homeless families, kids often miss out ~ above educational and health opportunities. And also without a bathroom, parental can"t clean themselves to look presentable because that a job, therefore perpetuating the poor cycle.

"The more we learn about these issues, the more complex they are," claimed Bill Hulterstrom, president of the United means of Utah County. "It is not a cookie-cutter (solution). We need to learn jointly as a neighborhood how to placed our resources in the right ar to truly give civilization a possibility to get earlier on their feet."

In a 48-page applications for money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the continually of treatment outlined its goals, objectives and obstacles in addressing the concern of homelessness end the following 10 years.

A significant step was the Utah ar Jail"s Re-Entry aid Program (REAP), which pairs former inmates with mentors, then places the client in county-subsidized apartments.

"What we"re act is giving civilization an chance to readjust their lives," Carly said. "Time will certainly be the ultimate test to watch whether or no it works. But I think many of them recognize this might be really their only hope to prevent the revolving door in between jail, regulation enforcement, the court mechanism and earlier to jail."

The Food and also Care Coalition also is planning to break ground in the spring for a transitional housing unit through 37 an individual units, linking clients with project opportunities, addiction and mental-health counseling and also treatment alternatives — providing clients assist and hope.

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

"Life isn"t easy ... (and) we desire to reference them for the instance they"re in. I"m no saying there isn"t personal accountability ... Yet the method back isn"t to blame and ostracize. It"s to love, and also to balance that (love) with personal accountability and access to good services and great information," Crane said.

The goal in this industry is "housing first" — a emphasis on moving world from transitional real estate units to permanent housing. And that permanent housing needs to be affordable.

Each month, the housing Authority of Utah County gives rent vouchers to nearly 950 families — section 8 vouchers for people whose income falls listed below the poverty line and Shelter Plus care vouchers to human being who were previously homeless.

With typical rent payment of $450, the real estate authority pays almost $428,000 a month, and virtually 700 families are top top the waiting list for help.

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

If substance abuse is involved, the price tag walk up also higher, adding on the cost of legislation enforcement, courts, lawyers.

The U.S. Room of Housing and Urban development (HUD) gave virtually $70 million throughout fiscal year 2007 come Utah for ar 8 housing vouchers and also Shelter Plus treatment vouchers, said Dwight A. Peterson, ar office director for the Salt Lake City HUD office.

But even with an ext money for more apartments, it"s hard to assist felons weave earlier into the system when countless landlords won"t rental to those v felony backgrounds.

"We operation a criminal report ~ above every applicant," stated Tom Wood, chief operation officer the Evergreene Management, i m sorry doesn"t rental to anyone through a felony record. "The main reason that us tell anyone "no felonies" is us can generally qualify for a good neighbor or crime-free housing program, and we can express that together a selling allude to residents. They know everyone else has gone with the exact same screening process. The brings tranquility of mental to inhabitants and brand-new applicants."

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

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His company has always run credit transaction checks as soon as renting out apartments however is now planning to run criminal checks together well, setting brand-new policies that space fair and also equal for everyone.

"It"s tough," Sears said. "You can"t reference the landlord, he"s make the efforts to safeguard others. Yet you feel negative for the human who really made a mistake once they to be younger (and) need to pay the price for that, forever in some cases. It would be nice come have straightforward answer, however there"s no one."