New study finds Utah homeowners want to help homeless people, but don’t know how


LOGAN – New study finds homeowners in northern Utah would like to help reduce homelessness, although many are unaware of the local resources available to them.

Two Utah State University professors, Jess Lucero and Jayme Walters, led the study with the help of undergraduates in their classes. Their goal was to teach students how to conduct local studies and apply the results in these communities.

“Many people are on the verge of homelessness in our communities, and the current state of the housing market makes it even more difficult for those who are already homeless to access housing,” Lucero said in a statement. hurry.

Specifically, their study surveyed 130 homeowners in the Bear River area. He found that a majority of homeowners see homelessness as a serious problem and want to help, although many are unaware of nearby resources.

Where to turn for help?

The study highlights New Hope, Cache Valley Veterans Association, Utah Families Feeding Families and 4 Helping Hearts as examples of resources on homelessness in the region.

Many of their programs are designed to alleviate concerns about renting to someone who is homeless.

Lucero has been a housing advocate in the community for years and prepared a report last year titled “Homelessness in the Bear River Area”. This report found that Cache County was short of nearly 1,200 affordable housing units and more than 3,400 units for low-income renters.

“So many homeless programs depend enough on landlords to house individuals in the private rental market,” Lucero says. “Programs like rapid rehousing and others provide homeless people and households that are experiencing homelessness with rent assistance, down payment assistance, that kind of financial capacity to find housing. there are people who have been looking for housing for months who can afford it, but cannot find a landlord who will work with them or, in the first place, available housing because of what our market looks like. housing at the moment. “

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