The year is rapidly drawing to a close, soon to fade into memory. Before that happens, let me catch you up on how Moab Solutions spent 2017.
I have transitioned from running The Salvation Army to giving assistance to those in need through Moab Solutions and our emergency needs fund. I now have more time to do what I love — street-level outreach and social work with the chronically homeless. Since Oct. 1, I have been answering calls for help through our emergency needs fund.
I am still available 24/7 to take calls from law enforcement, agencies, churches and individuals, giving assistance where appropriate. Please consider helping us help those in need by sending us a donation.
All of your tax-deductible donation will stay here and help people in this area. Watch for us at City Market, where we will be doing occasional fundraising throughout December. If you want some of your donation to support our administrative needs, make a notation on your check.
In 2017, I have also reinvigorated Friends of the Parkway, which aims to keep all 5-plus miles of our gorgeous parkway lands and creek free of litter. We work to address issues like graffiti and homeless camps right away, before any problems get worse. Recently, and with the help of great volunteers, truckloads of weeds were hauled off the parkway lands and composted at a local site. We plan to enlist volunteers to do hand removal of weeds across the parkway environment. We are partnering with Youth Garden Project, TerraSophia, and others to get more community members, especially young people, involved.
I have been taking frequent walks on the parkway, alone and with volunteers, cleaning up litter and taking recyclables to the recycling center, and reconnecting with the homeless who hang out there. Through reconnecting with these folks, I discover how I may be able to help them move forward. It is always fascinating, though an often-heartbreaking look into mental health, substance use disorder and plain old bad luck. For more information on Friends of the Parkway and other projects, visit moab-solutions.org.
Mill Creek Canyon has seen a mix of abuse and restoration this year. We had an arson fire in July, along with intentional destruction of 11 highly beneficial and beautiful beaver dams. There was also an incident of unauthorized spraying of poison ivy, which killed willows along with the poison ivy and was done perilously close to the water.
I visit the canyon on a daily basis to enjoy the beauty, remove trash, recycling and dog waste, and do minor trail maintenance. I interact with trail workers on major projects as often as possible. We are dedicated to bringing the canyon back to its most natural state while keeping it open to all. But that is a challenge as visitation skyrockets. See more about what we are doing at millcreekpartnership.net.
I am still doing some FreeCycling — maintaining recycle systems at no cost in a few area locations, like the post office, Family Support Center, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Zions Bank, and a bin on the parkway. Carol Hoggard, one of the original “Solutions” still does a weekly recycle pickup at a hair salon. I just attended an event at the Elk’s Lodge and worked with a member there to capture recycling from two major events. I am going to work with them to install recycling for all events.
I feel so very fortunate to live in this community. It is a giving, caring place. I recently got an incredible donation of gift bags for the homeless, crammed full of goodies that would make anyone happy, with an eye toward the needs of the homeless. One month ago, I received a donation of high-quality men’s clothing, which we have already distributed to the homeless, and we just had 20 new sleeping bags donated. So far I have given out 12 of them — some directly to the homeless, and some to other agencies that interact with the homeless population. Working together is key to success.
Please consider making a tax-deductible, end-of-year donation to Moab Solutions so that we may continue these and other projects. Please make your check out to “Moab Solutions” and mail it to P.O. Box 1549, Moab, UT 84532.