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Front Page » July 14, 2009 » Carbon County News » Recent homeless in Price simply passing through
Published 1,960 days ago

Recent homeless in Price simply passing through


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By COLLIN MCRANN
Sun Advocate writer

Over the last week many homeless people with cardboard signs reading, "Need Help," have positioned themselves around Price, notableyby US-6. And although there does not appear to be a unifying reason for their sudden appearance, they have generated curiosity from the public.

One homeless man known only as "Sweet-Leaf" was sitting by the intersection to 100 North from U.S. Highway 6.

He said he was simply passing through and he had no idea as to why others in his position are around town.

"All different types of reasons why people are out here, everyone's got their own reason," said Sweet-Leaf. "I don't have a choice, it's not like I do this for a career or something."

Although he didn't specify why he had to perpetually travel about the country, he was proud of his primary mode of transportation, a bicycle which he claims has higher mileage on it than most cars.

"I can go about 20 or 30 miles a day on that thing, but then I get wore out and tired. I'm no Lance Armstrong," he said, smoking a cigarette.

After talking to Sweet-Leaf for a few minutes, an elderly man pulled up in a truck and gave him $10. The homelss man said it was the only money he has yet received in Price. Although it's unlikely to go very far, he was grateful for the cash.

"You got to be at least 50 to do this, if your young no one will give you anything," he said. " It's a performance, just be polite, courteous and don't let people see you smoking."

Homeless rates have grown nationally since last fall, and although Utah has one of the lowest homeless rates in the country, it is still a problem. According the National Alliance to End Homelessness, only nine percent of people who are homeless reside in rural areas, which is not surprising considering the vast empty spaces that are common in the likes of rural Utah.

"I ain't got a car, got to get what I need. (water, food) then head out," said Sweet-Leaf.

In fact, aside from the difficulties he was experiencing in Price, Sweet-Leaf said out of all the cities he has been to, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, Calif., that Salt Lake, was the most difficult.

He indicated that the local homeless in Salt Lake do not tolerate new comers.

"I got to Salt Lake, and they (the other homeless) told me, 'you got two hours,' Salt Lake's not easy," said Sweet-Leaf.

At the time of the interview Sweet-Leaf indicated that he had been in the area for about three day and was from California, trying to get south to I-70 into Colorado. He has apparently had some success since he has not been seen around Price since last week.

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