Marching and Chowder 02/07/17
Present: Dr. John Shannon, President, Lauren Smith, Vice President, Nancy Freeman, Secretary
Bernie and Marita Hart, Tai Chi instructors
Special Guest: Peter Corroon, past mayor of Salt Lake City
General Topic: Solutions to Homelessness
John stated the Rio Grande Community is a community, though a dysfunctional one.
All were in agreement. John led the discussion by identifying the paternalistic attitude
many take towards the homeless themselves and would like to see the homeless take more
initiative in creating solutions. The issue of an approach to a housing solution was addressed by
Peter who stated in Portland the placing of persons from a shelter into apartments had an 80%
success rate. He endorsed Bernie and Marita’s efforts to introduce Tai Chi to the homeless as
Bernie explained how the discipline necessitates thought patterns resulting in movement.
All were hopeful this movement would be in a positive constructive manner. Nancy
commented the health and appearance of participants for the most part has improved
Peter was pleased the Housing Authority and employees at the Emergency side of the
Road Home are addressing placement of homeless individuals and Nancy confirmed progress is
being made, surprisingly more rapidly than one may think. Peter reminded the group that the
Sunrise Manor and other property management sites are screening applicants and actively
Bernie would like to work more closely with persons who frequent the Wiegand Center
to arrange community service with the intention of dissolving warrants.
It was noted however that panhandling in the area has nearly been eradicated and the illegal sales of stolen
bicycles parts seems to have disappeared from the Library site. Bravo to Bernie and Marita!
Discussions on possible sites included the facility across from Deseret Industries Clothing Store
and the topic of decentralization was raised once again. Four smaller, newer facilities are under
consideration with mandatory services offered by trained professionals in the Wiegand Center..
Feedback from the residents of the Road Home was not supportive of the Sugarland site due to the
displacement of one hundred fifty pre-registered pre-school students parented by local homeowners.
Salt Lake Marching and Chowder Club