(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Ron Barrett, 55, and his wife Katherine Barrett, 54, who are homeless try to stay warm in their tent from the meager heat from a ceramic pot filled with candle wax. Their cold hands are blacken by the soot rising from the burning candle on a night that temperatures dropped to 12 degrees in Salt Lake City. It’s crazy, you gotta be able to have a sense of humor, said Ron Barrett, 55, of the life circumstances that resulted in life on the streets for he and Katherine since 2017. The Barretts are trying to find housing through a Shelter Plus Care housing voucher through the Salt Lake City Housing Authority. The couple says they refuse to stay in the state’s largest homeless shelter, The Road Home on Rio Grande Street, because of past threats of violence from other residents.
For more than two months, Ron and Katherine Barrett have spent their days searching for an apartment and their nights sleeping in the cold in a tent with a tarp over it on a patch of grass in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
The couple have been in and out of motels since around 2008 and on the streets since early 2017. And they’ve been searching for a place to live since Nov. 20, when they received a housing voucher that provides rental assistance to those who are chronically homeless.
But it’s been difficult to find a place that meets the price and location requirements established by the federal government under the Section 8 Shelter Plus Care Housing Voucher — particularly as Utah faces what some have labeled an affordable housing crisis.