For five years in the early 1970s, I helped administer services through the People's Freeway Neighborhood Council for the gateway area of Salt Lake City.

Today was gloomy as I drove through that area. The neighborhood was filled with images that looked like photos I have seen of the Depression era. Large groups of apparently homeless people milled around in the cold near the homeless shelters and Pioneer Park.In the 70's we handled three real transients a week at most during the summer, even during the later hippie migrations. Everyone had a place to live. If some discrepancy was noted, Doug Palmer or some other socially conscious reporter would report the problem and it would be solved.

What shall we make of these hordes of destitute homeless living at the mercy of the desperate and mentally ill among them, as though in prison (in prosperous Salt Lake City) in the dead of winter?

Robert N. Macri

Salt Lake City