Don Voigt AKA “The First Cowboy” Spoke Out Against Mayor Mendenhall in Press Conference

Don Voigt “The First Cowboy” spoke out against Mayor Mendenhall in press conference discussing a new temporary homeless shelter offering an additional 50 units.


Don Voigt, (AKA— SLC’s first cowboy) is a senior who was recently priced out of Salt Lake City’s housing market. Voigt recently spoke out in a press conference that Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall conducted with Utah State Homeless Coordinator Wayne Niederhauser.

In their joint press conference they announced they finally secured a property for a new temporary homeless shelter offering an additional 50 secure units.

Voigt pointed out that currently several thousand homeless people are being constantly harassed via the SLCPD due to the Mayor’s ongoing “abatement” policies. This policy directs SLPD officers and County health workers to confiscate and destroy all of the personal possessions of homeless who leave their tents unattended.

Photo By: Robin Pendergrast

Voigt told Utah Stories that SLCPD and the County Health Department have ramped up abatements moving the unsheltered homeless further away from available bathrooms, food and healthcare facilities for the homeless. These actions are  producing unsanitary conditions and exacerbating unrest and mental fatigue among the unsheltered. Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall along with the Salt Lake City Council has since 2020 has invested more than 56 million in affordable housing and going into 2024 plans to allocate 10 million more toward affordable housing projects according to KSL. Early indIcations show that likely these funds will be awarded to developers who will build affordable-housing projects, but details have not yet been provided.

Mayor Mendenhall and Wayne Niederhauser have yet to respond to Utah Stories inquiries regarding ongoing homeless policies; affordable housing initiatives and cronyism regarding developers receiving affordable-housing grants at taxpayer’s expense.

Read Utah Stories ongoing investigation into homeless policy and the “homeless industrial complex” as well as our story on The Magnolia Apartments. 

👉 Please consider supporting our coverage by becoming a member of Utah Stories, which offers exclusive content; VIP tickets to our upcoming documentary film premiere at Brewvies Cinema Pub on November 3rd the film is called “The Abated” a deep-dive into homeless corruption in Utah.


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