top of page

Nomad Alliance "SEE US! HEAR US! CAN’T HIDE US" NBA All Star Game Protest Takes Stand For Homeless

What: Nomad Alliance is holding a rally at the NBA All Star Game in Salt Lake City Sunday 3pm at the Vivint arena to protest the preventable deaths and inhumane treatment of unsheltered people living in Salt Lake City Utah. When: February 19, 2023 at 3:00 PM. Where: South West Corner of the Vivint Arena, 100 South 400 W, SLC, Utah Why: People have been abated incessantly the last week to clear out downtown of the “ruffians.” The city somehow found $40,000 for a one day and night game watch party complete with $7,000 of snacks, but couldn’t keep people warm in 4 degree weather during the coldest winter we’ve ever had. Five people died in one five-day period in December. While official statistics don't exist of all those who have died this winter, word on the streets is 50-100 people have frozen.

The Nomad Alliance stands against performative politics and active terrorism of our friends living sans adequate shelter. Bribing the homeless to stay hidden while 150,000 people are watching, but then actively terrorize, kill, steal from them every other day of the year is an abhorrent practice by those meant to protect and represent ALL the people.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is ashamed to show the nation and world and all these out-of-town visitors for the All Stars game how she has failed the people, how large the homeless epidemic and suffering really is in her city.

See us. Hear us. Can’t hide us.

According to Utah State auditors "... the number of unsheltered individuals has also grown nearly 200% since 2016". 77 families with 300 children were turned away from shelter just in November alone, while abatements incessantly steal survival gear of those forced to camp on city streets in the cold. Shelters are full, there is no room in the inn.

The city, county and state government can prevent this tragedy from occurring. Winter comes every year. Sans government assistance, the Nomad Alliance along with other local homeless advocacy groups, have had to step up to make up for the failure of government, replacing peoples identification, tents, sleeping bags and other survival gear that are incessantly abated, housed 80 people during each Movie Night at First United Methodist Church to keep people warm overnight, and have bought the Nomad Bus, operating since 1.30.23 as a 24/7 emergency warming space to shelter people day and night through dangerous, sub-freezing temperatures.

While participating in the Point in Time Count, the Nomad Alliance found a woman eight and a half months pregnant living in a tent near train tracks on the west side. When no housing was available, a Nomad Alliance team member opened her spare room to house the mother and newborn. This nonprofit raised money for the rent for the room for the next two months for this little family, and provided for all the basic needs of the newborn including diapers, formula, carseat, clothing and bassinet, supporting the mother with transportation, and keeping the family together despite all odds and DCFS involvement. Imagine if a baby was born in a tent in 25 degree weather. Where is the city and state to take care of the most vulnerable among us?

The government is not doing enough to provide adequate shelter, food, clothing and medical supplies to our unsheltered community. Nomad Alliance Executive Director, Kseniya Kniazeva adds, “Last November one of our team members saw a family with four or five children, all under 11, setting up a camp outside a human resource center. The mother looked shell shocked, newly homeless, carrying their life possessions in a plastic wagon. This is not okay.” Kniazeva continues: "We applaud the Utah State Legislature in proposing HB 499, sponsored by Rep. Eliason, which would enact emergency Code Blue measures to open warming centers all over the state during sub-freezing temperatures and involve first responders to transport those at risk of freezing to them and keep people alive during dangerous weather. HB 499 also includes a non-congregate shed-structure sanctioned camp. We urge all legislators to vote yes in HB 499.

However, until the Other Side Village and shed-structure camp are ready and housing people, the Nomad Alliance begs our leaders to enact a truly low-barrier and deeply affordable tent/RV/micro-home sanctioned campground to give people safety and stability until more deeply affordable housing options are constructed and available. The Nomad Alliance can erect a safe and secure sanctioned camp with amenities, utilities and fencing within weeks, we just need land and permission to do so. Shelters are full.

Sunday, at 3pm we stand together en masse, sheltered and unsheltered uniting, to demand our leaders do more to care for the least among us.

Thank you very much.

Who: Nomad Alliance, a 501(c)3 About Nomad Alliance:

Nomad Alliance is a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit group of concerned citizens working together with private and public partners to end homelessness and offer hope, by providing warmth, nourishment, shelter, employment, healing, legal aid, connection and advocacy to the chronically unsheltered ("nomad") population. Nomad Alliance is a one-stop mobile resource for the chronically unsheltered in Salt Lake County. Our bi-monthly and monthly supply drives offer everything from clothing, blankets, tents, hygiene items and hot, home-cooked meals to haircuts, hot showers, legal and online support. Our historic mass DMV appointments and free ID vouchers obtain necessary identification so people can get jobs, stimulus checks, or apply for housing and medicaid services. Our Nomad bus is the first 24/7 warming bus in the country, soon to be opened as a mobile wifi cafe for the people.

Kseniya Kniazeva

Executive Director Nomad Alliance +1 801-688-3197


108 views0 comments


bottom of page