Caputo’s Market & Deli | Neighborhood Spotlight | Pioneer Park Coalition

We love our neighborhood. The Pioneer Park area hasn’t always had the best reputation. We have had some rough years. But we fight through them. We are where we are in huge part due to our good neighbors and businesses who decided that the west side of Salt Lake City would be their home and they planted roots. None as much as Caputo’s Market and Deli located directly north of Pioneer Park.

Caputo's Market and Deli

Caputo’s Market & Deli

When Tony Caputo opened his market and deli in 1997, he says he never considered any other area. The Pioneer Park neighborhood was the perfect location. According to a June Deseret News article,

“We never thought of going anywhere else,” says Tony. “We liked downtown; we liked this part of downtown. You go to big cities, go to the Italian section, they’re always in crummy neighborhoods.”

Caputo’s has been a neighborhood staple ever since, staying solid as new businesses and housing projects grew around him. Three years ago, Tony retired, leaving the business to his son Matt and daughter-in-law Yelena. Matt and Yelena have continued the love and care for the Pioneer Park neighborhood, being active members and supporters of the Pioneer Park Coalition as we work toward our goal of making the Pioneer Park neighborhood inviting for all 24/7.Tony Caputo and family

PC: Deseret News

Caputo’s Offerings

Caputo’s Market and Deli offers a delicious smorgasbord of gourmet food. They offer only the best in cheese, chocolates, and deli meats. From the amazing sandwiches to mouth-watering Cheese Cave, everything is top shelf. But the atmosphere is far from pretentious. Whether you walk in in paint-covered jeans and an old ratty hoodie to a business suit, you fit right in. The market is loud, festive, and is a gathering place for friends, colleagues, and family. Even though he retired, Tony can often be found behind the counter or sitting at a table chatting with customers.

Caputo's Market and Deli cheese cave

Caputo’s also offers many classes for the community. Everything from cheese tasting to chocolate making. Check out a list of their upcoming classes here.

We are so fortunate to have Caputo’s Market and Deli in our neighborhood as a steady cornerstone. It’s so much more than a deli…it shows us every day what our goals for Salt Lake’s west side are and why we are working for our goals. We want to give a huge shoutout to Caputo’s also for their continued activity and support of the Pioneer Park Coaltion.

Gateway Bridal & Prom | Pioneer Park | Neighborhood Spotlight

We are fortunate to have some amazing neighbors here in the Pioneer Park neighborhood. Both residents and businesses alike make our vision for our area come alive. Today we would like to focus on Gateway Bridal & Prom, home of the LatterDayBride collection, located at 360 West Broadway, Suite #101, on the north side of Pioneer Park. Gateway Bridal is owned and operated by our own Pioneer Park Coalition board member, Nicole Thomas.

Nicole Thomas, owner of Gateway Bridal in the Rio Grande area of Salt Lake City

Nicole started Gateway Bridal more than 16 years ago. The original storefront was located at the south end of the Gateway Mall, almost directly across from the current Road Home homeless shelter. The years leading up to the move to the current location were difficult…it was hard for Nicole and her staff to see the area deteriorating as the Rio Grande neighborhood became more a drug haven than a place for customers to come buy wedding dresses. They had seen sex acts performed outside their office window, had addicts use their bathroom to shoot up, showed up to work to find someone had defecated in front of the door, and on a few occasions, people were even found dead in their parking lot, either from violence or drug overdoses. Pre Operation Rio Grande, Nicole felt she had no choice but to move her store, for the safety of herself, her customers, and her staff. You can read more from Nicole in her op-ed here.

Gateway Bridal located in the Rio Grande and Pioneer Park neighborhood of Salt Lake City

Nicole has been a longtime member and now a board member of the Pioneer Park Coalition. She knew when she moved she didn’t want to give up on our neighborhood, which is why she chose to move Gateway Bridal just down the street to it’s current location across from Pioneer Park. While many retailers moved out of the area completely, opting for the shiny new City Creek Center, Nicole knew Gateway’s home was on Salt Lake’s west side. While the problems that plagued the store back in the old location aren’t completely gone, they are few and far between, thanks in large part to the efforts of Operation Rio Grande.  

Now, for the fun part. Gateway Bridal and Prom is Utah’s premier bridal and prom destination. Their customer service is unparalleled and the selection is huge.

The gorgeous new showroom is like something straight out of a fairytale, and is every bride-to-be or high school girl’s dream come true.

From the individual bridal consultation areas with 360 degree views to the fun shared prom area where you can oooh and aaaah with your girlfriends, Gateway’s showroom is candy for the eyes.

Gateway Bridal is also home to the LatterDayBride collection, boasting the largest selection of modest wedding and prom dresses in the world! They also carry the largest selection of plus size wedding dress samples in the state, because they know not every bride is a Barbie doll and want every bride to be able to try on their dream dress before they buy. So from strapless to modest, size 0-32, you can bet you can find a bridal gown or prom dress for every taste AND every budget, with many wedding dresses coming in under $600!

We are so pleased to have Gateway Bridal & Prom in our neighborhood, as well as the leadership and service Nicole provides to our area and to the Pioneer Park Coalition as a volunteer.

Gateway Bridal

We hope you will come visit Gateway Bridal for your wedding and prom dress needs and check out their beautiful new show room and wide selection!

PC: AK Studio & Design

A New Vision for Pioneer Park | Family Friendly and Inviting to All 24/7

We have examples to follow as we recreate Pioneer Park.

On any given day, visitors and residents of New York City can visit the Bryant Park website and be overwhelmed with the sheer amount and variety of activities going on in the park that day (and night).

A New Vision for Pioneer Park

Frozen fountain in beautiful Bryant Park in NYC

As I sit down to write this blog post, for example, I could hit up Joe Coffee Company for my morning brew or select from a number of other food kiosks.  I could take my kids down at 11 a.m. for Bryant Park Games where we can play board games as a family. After our epic Monopoly match we can head over to the ice skating rink for opening day at noon, grabbing a bite to eat at Breads Bakery on the way. After skating, we can have a battle for the ages at the Ping Pong tournament or visit the Art Cart to utilize the free drawing and craft supplies and take advantage of free art instruction. Ice skating at Bryant Park in NYC provides example to SLC Pioneer Park

I could go on. But this just gives you a taste of a vision. The vision we have for our own Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City.

Movie in the park at Bryant Park in NYC

Bryant Park in New York City isn’t the first to embrace the concept of a publicly owned yet privately run park. And they certainly won’t be the last. But what they do have is a history. Looking at Bryant Park 20 years ago, you would have found a haven for drug dealers and a public bathroom for the homeless. The fountains long dried up and covered in graffiti. If you have visited SLC’s Pioneer Park in the last decade, this may sound familiar.Vision for Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City with Bryant Park example

So what changed? How did Bryant Park go from being a seedy NYC armpit to New York City’s beloved Town Square? It started with a vision. A public-private partnership between elected officials, NYC Parks and Recreation, and local businesses. It started with a commitment; and a group of people saying “This is OUR neighborhood. Let’s take it back.”Bryant Park is an example for Pioneer Park in Utah

This is how we know it can be done. Other examples include Millennium Park in Chicago and Civic Center Park in our neighboring Denver. These cities faced many of the same challenges we now face and they figured it out. They united as a city and rose above it, creating beautiful, thriving parks that are cultural activity centers.

Pioneer Park is uniquely located and positioned to be just as successful as these examples. And we are well on our way. A small taste of the large scale dream we have in mind include the Downtown Farmer’s Market and Twilight Concert Series, both which have found a home in the park and are run by private entities.

Are you ready to join us? Maybe someday soon you can wake up on a Saturday morning and visit the Pioneer Park website to plan out the day with YOUR family.

Contact us to get involved. We would love to have you be a part of the vision!

Good Neighbor Awards 2017 | Bryson Garbett | REALTOR® Magazine

REALTOR® Magazine 2017 Good Neighbor Awards | Bryson Garbett

REALTOR® magazine has completed it’s 18th annual REALTOR® magazine Good Neighbor Awards. The Pioneer Park Coalition is proud to announce that our Chairman, Bryson Garbett, is one of the five winners of this prestigious award!

The National Association of REALTORS®’ annual program recognizes REALTORS® who’ve made an extraordinary commitment to their communities through volunteer work.

Five winners will be announced in the November/December issue of REALTOR® magazine and at the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago. The winners receive a $10,000 grant for their community cause, national publicity, travel expenses to the convention, and a crystal trophy.

“REALTORS® have a unique approach with their charitable giving,” says Stacey Moncrieff, REALTOR® Magazine Vice President of Business-to-Business Communications. “REALTORS® strive to empower people, families and neighborhoods to grow and achieve their highest potential.”

Bryson Garbett tells the story of how his charitable foundation, Escalera, was founded. In 1997, his family was set to take a family vacation. The planned trip was the one kids all over dream about: Disney World. At the same time, Bryson’s wife Jan had heard about opportunities for families to travel abroad to volunteer in third world countries and work together to help local residents in need of basic services. The Garbetts put the decision to their children. The questions? “Should we go to Disney World? Or go volunteer in Mexico?” The decision was unanimous. The kids chose Mexico and it was a trip that would change the course of their lives.

Watch this video to see how the rest of the story unfolded.

Escalara’s vision from their website is,

“We envision a world where everyone has access to a quality education, is aware of this opportunity, and has the resources to take advantage of it. Our work is grounded in the knowledge that an education gives people choices and leads the way to a better and healthier life. Educated moms and dads raise educated sons and daughters. It’s a cycle. The world still has problems, but billions of former students are tackling them.”

We are grateful to have Bryson Garbett as our Chairman and want to congratulate him on this award. He is truly a good neighbor in every sense of the word.

 

Operation Rio Grande is Working | Op-Ed by PPC member Nicole Thomas

Operation Rio Grande is WORKING! That is the bottom line of the op-ed written by Pioneer Park Coalition member Nicole Thomas and published in the Deseret News October 5th, 2017.

Nicole Thomas, owner of Gateway Bridal in the Rio Grande area of Salt Lake City

Nicole is the owner and founder of Gateway Bridal & Prom and LatterDayBride & Prom. Her story in the Rio Grande area began almost two decades ago.

Gateway Bridal located in the Rio Grande and Pioneer Park neighborhood of Salt Lake City

Operation Rio Grande is WORKING!

Her op-ed begins,

“For over 18 years I have lived or worked in the Pioneer Park/Rio Grande neighborhood. In 2008 I moved my store at the time, LatterDayBride & Prom, to the south end of The Gateway, directly across from the homeless shelter.

While there I interacted frequently with those experiencing homelessness. There were regulars in the area I came to know well. Four years ago, however, I started to notice a significant change in the demographic of the neighborhood. There was an influx of criminals and those looking only for drugs.

I became more and more frustrated with the lawlessness that overwhelmed the neighborhood. If you did not see it firsthand, you will have a hard time believing how bad things became.

Unfortunately, too many of our community leaders came to accept the status quo or chose not to see it. They had given up on providing residents and businesses here with the same level of basic safety every neighborhood in Utah should have.

During this time my lease with The Gateway expired. While I didn’t want to move, I could not stay; the anarchy was simply too much. So last September I moved to a spot immediately north of Pioneer Park. It was not far from where I had been because I wanted to be part of the solution in helping this area thrive.”

Read the rest of Nicole’s fabulous op-ed on how those living and working in the Rio Grande and Pioneer Park communities have seen the positive change Operation Rio Grande has brought to the area in the Deseret News HERE.

To find out more about the mission of the Pioneer Park Coalition and how you can be a part of the solution, click HERE.

Operation Rio Grande Update | Salt Lake City | Pioneer Park Coalition

The following is an Operation Rio Grande email update received by the Pioneer Park Coalition on September 25th, 2017.

Intergenerational Poverty Update

Operation Rio Grande has been in place for six weeks. Phase one, which focused primarily on law enforcement, has been extremely successful in arresting dangerous criminals and disrupting the drug trafficking and usage in the area. The Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement anticipated the issue of encampments spreading to other areas and respond to every report that comes in of new encampments.For Public Safety’s latest report, click here.

Phase two, assessment and treatment, began a few weeks after phase one as new treatment beds came available. Additionally, a new specialty court began for individuals arrested from the operation to help divert individuals to treatment. Phase two is essential to the success of the operation and will continue as more treatment beds come available.

Next steps for the operation includes:

  • Opening the designated “Safe Space” for individuals seeking services in the Rio Grande area.

  • More treatment beds coming available resulting in more assessments and drug court appearances.

  • Continued clean up of encampments that have spread to other areas.

  • Building of the final phase, Dignity of Work.

This update is scheduled to occur weekly until all the three phases are fully operational and all the pieces are in place. At that point, the update will become monthly until there is no longer the need.

Operation Rio Grande Updates

Safe Space

  • Outreach continues to individuals in homelessness within the Rio Grande Area

  • ID card education will take place Sept. 25-29

  • Plans for opening the safe space

    • Oct. 2-6: Soft opening where the area is open to the public and cards will be distributed

    • Oct. 10: The safe space will go live where ID cards will be required for entry

  • Fencing and a shaded space have been installed

 Operation Rio Grande safe space update

Special Session

  • Two bills related to Operation Rio Grande passed overwhelmingly by the Utah State Legislature during the special session on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.

  • The Deseret News Editorial Board shared the following about the passing of these two bills.

Treatment and Recovery

  • Of the 37 treatment beds that became available on Sept. 7, all are now filled with individuals that were arrested as a result of Operation Rio Grande.

  • On Sept. 14, a new specialty court was announced to support the efforts of Operation Rio Grande. So far, there are 35 active drug court participants.

  • In October, another big assessment day is planned to connect additional eligible and appropriate individuals to this evidence-based structured court program.  Program participants will be linked to 25 new residential treatment beds opening at Odyssey House.

  • On Wednesday, Sept. 27, the Other Side Academy will be in the Salt Lake County Jail to educate ORG inmates about their vocational program.  The Other Side Academy is a two-year vocational, pro-social, life skills program where eligible students gain experience in a trade.  It is not a substance use or mental health treatment program.

Operation Rio Grande update in Salt Lake CityClick image for link to press conference at the Matheson Court House on Sept. 14

Encampments

  • The Department of Public Safety continues to coordinate responses to encampment reports. Each report is taken seriously with a response team and cleanups are scheduled as needed.

  • The public are encouraged to call their local police department regarding any concerns of homeless encampments.

  • Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County meet on a weekly basis to coordinate cleanups for the week.  Last week, a large cleanup was conducted along the Jordan River (from 4000 to 4500 South).  Cleanup of encampments will continue this Thursday and Friday, Sept. 28-29.  Cleanups will continue to occur in other parts of Salt Lake City this week as well.

Dignity of Work

The plan for phase of three of the operation is coming together and will be shared the last week of October.

For more information, visit www.operationriogrande.utah.gov.

How Can I Help the Homeless? | Pioneer Park Coalition | SLC Utah

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from members of the community is “How can I help the homeless? I know we aren’t supposed to give money to panhandlers, so what are some alternatives?”
Today we are going to spotlight a few organizations we feel do a great job reaching and helping those in the most need who find themselves experiencing homelessness.

How Can I Help the Homeless?

The Other Side Academy

One amazing organization helping those who have hit rock bottom is The Other Side Academy. Their website states,

“The Other Side Academy is a school where our students learn vocational, pro-social, and life skills so they can succeed on “the other side”.  It is a school where our students can learn marketing skills, business skills, and gain experience in various trades.

It is a school where our students learn how to make and keep promises and how to live life with integrity, accountability, and with love.  Our students will have the opportunity to working in our various vocational training schools, such as The Other Side Moversand Promise Land Food.

Our school is for men and women who have hit rock bottom, usually from a lifetime of addiction and criminal behavior, who now want to learn a better way to live. The Other Side Academy is available for these men and women pre- and post- sentencing and those within the jails and prisons within the state of Utah as well as those convicts, substance abusers, homeless and others who walk in off the street.”

The Other Side Academy to help the homeless in SLC Utah

So how can you help? The Other Side Academy offers many ways to help, from monetary and in-kind donations to volunteer opportunities. Another great way? Hire them! The Other Side Movers and the new Promised Land Food Truck are operated by Academy students and give them real world business experience as well as self-sufficiency. See all current opportunities here.

Families FirstFamilies First is an organization helping homeless families in Salt Lake City

Another great program here in Utah that helps many families who are trying to get back on their feet after experiencing homelessness is Families First. The program description from their website says,

“Families First is Utah’s premier intensive in-home intervention designed to teach parents skills to change the unwanted behaviors of their children, and to improve family functioning. Many of the referral’s we receive are from healthy families who are simply looking for better more effective ways to discipline their children and/or control behaviors.

The children in the families we serve often have a variety of behavioral and/or emotional problems. Some have been diagnosed with mental illnesses, some are struggling with school behaviors, some are simply ungovernable, and others are reacting poorly to dysfunctional environments.

Many families live at or below poverty level and are struggling to find jobs, housing, clothing, and food for their children, while others are successful in these endeavors. All of these families have the common desire to change behaviors, learn new ways of interacting, and to create more peace and harmony in their homes.”

There are many ways to help at Families First, and the parent organization Utah Youth Village. To see all opportunities, check out their site here.

Odyssey HouseOdyssey House is a non-profit helping addicts and homeless in SLC

As we well know, homelessness often goes hand in hand with addiction. Odyssey House provides drug treatment programs for those from all walks of life. Their treatment programs are consistently ranked as some of the highest in the nation and they are constantly working at expanding to be able to treat more individuals. They are all about people, not profit, and donations are greatly appreciated. To read more about the programs, donate, or see other ways to help, visit the site here.

First Step HouseFirst Step House answers the question "How can I help the homeless in SLC?"

Another great organization providing assistance to those experiencing homelessness, drug addiction, and other hardships is the First Step House. Their mission statement on their website reads,

“First Step House is a leading organization in the field of addiction recovery. We help people who are struggling with substance use and behavioral health disorders. We offer a range of services including residential treatment, outpatient treatment, long-term recovery management, transitional housing, case management, and evidence-based therapies. Our goal is to create an environment that fosters, supports, and enables long-term recovery.”

Want to help? First Step House provides many opportunities including monetary and in-kind donations and assistance with community fundraisers and events. To find out more check out ways to help here.

These are just a few of the many organizations that provide services to the homeless population of Salt Lake City. If you find yourself wondering “How can I help the homeless,” we hope you will consider donating or volunteering with one of these organizations. Knowing your money and time will be helping the individual as well as the community as a whole and seeing the change in action can be such a rewarding experience.

Utah Highway Patrol: A First Hand Account of Operation Rio Grande

Looking for an insiders view of Operation Rio Grande? These guys are out there day in and day out. Check out this great short video where the Utah Highway Patrol offers a first-hand account of Operation Rio Grande and it’s effectiveness.

UHP Troopers Give First Hand Account of Operation Rio Grande

“Operation Rio Grande is Saving Lives” by Pamela Atkinson

Longtime homeless advocate Pamela Atkinson says, “Operation Rio Grande is saving lives.” We couldn’t agree more.

Read More:Pamela Atkinson says Operation Rio Grande is saving lives

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/26/pamela-atkinson-operation-rio-grande-is-saving-lives/

The Pioneer Park Coalition Applauds Operation Rio Grande

The Pioneer Park Coalition 

The Pioneer Park Coalition in Salt Lake City Utah

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE

Neighborhood Residents, Businesses,     & Advocates Applaud Operation Rio Grande

Salt Lake City, Utah – August 17, 2017

Residents, businesses, and advocates of Utah’s Rio Grande neighborhood support efforts by the State of Utah, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, and other jurisdictions to combat lawlessness through “Operation Rio Grande.” This operation, which began Monday, is an effort to address crime in the area, while improving the provision of services to homeless residents, including children.

“We have grown sick of the ongoing violence in this neighborhood,” said Susana Clar, a resident. “Finally, we are beginning to feel safe again. I pray that these efforts will continue and that state and local governments are serious about maintaining this presence until this issue is solved.”

State and local officials have told the Pioneer Park Coalition that Operation Rio Grande is intended to last roughly two years and is focused on restoring public order and providing services to people experiencing homelessness.

“I commend law enforcement officials and our state and local governments for responding to our pleas to enforce the law here,” explained local business owner Tiffanie Provost. “We just want the same basic level of safety and decency that exists anywhere else in this state.”

“The children of the Rio Grande area desperately needed this action,” stated Dr. Clotilde Houchon, a long-time advocate for children experiencing homelessness in the area. “Having predators and criminals in the same spaces as kids was a recipe for disaster. I am also encouraged by the Operation’s emphasis on respecting civil rights and getting people the services they need.”

The Pioneer Park Coalition is an alliance of residents and businesses of the Rio Grande seeking to create a safe community and improve services for the homeless.