Park City police order woman out of McPolin Farm encampment
October 13, 2018
The Park City Police Department on Tuesday issued two citations to a woman found in a homeless encampment on the grounds of the McPolin Farm, a case that is notable for the high-profile location as well as the timing just as the first significant snow of the season arrived.
Phil Kirk, a police captain, said a person using the trails at the farm contacted the department worried about the person. Two officers at 9:18 p.m. went to the encampment. Kirk said the officers found the encampment off a footpath leading to the west from a trail behind the iconic white barn that anchors the farm.
Kirk said the woman was sleeping in a hammock when the officers arrived. There were bags scattered on the ground and lots of trash at the location, he said. The officers gave the woman 24 hours to vacate the encampment.
The Police Department issued citations on counts of littering and providing false information to the officers after she misidentified herself, Kirk said. She is 29. Kirk said the Police Department has encountered her before regarding homelessness. The police offered the woman information about services provided by the Christian Center of Park City and other resources. She declined assistance, Kirk said.
The case at the McPolin Farm followed shortly after an unrelated homelessness report in early October at City Park. In the City Park case, four people, at least three of them known to be homeless, were seen outside Miners Hospital. Each of them told the police they had somewhere to stay.
There are not extensive resources or a shelter for homeless people in the Park City area as there are in larger communities. Police officers typically provide information about services and offer a bus ticket to Salt Lake City, where there is a shelter for the homeless.
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It is unusual for a homeless encampment to be reported on the grounds of the McPolin Farm, an iconic property along the S.R. 224 entryway. Encampments are more typically found in the hills surrounding Park City.
The case on Tuesday, though, was logged less than a month after another discovery of an encampment in the same vicinity. The find in September involved a canopy, a hammock, bags and miscellaneous personal items. The Police Department at the time indicated it was clear someone was living at the location.
The case also was reported as significant snow fell in the Park City area for the first time of the season. There has long been extra law enforcement concern about people living outdoors during the winter, when temperatures regularly dip below freezing at night.