BZ Real Ogden Portraits Christine Torres-1

Christine Torres stands outside of her Ogden home. Torres moved from Washington State to Utah in order to be closer to family.

'Ogden is more of ghetto poverty.'

A few weeks back, Christine Torres found a used syringe tossed in her front yard.

“Right out here,” she said from the porch of her home, gesturing. “My kids play out here.”

It upset her, naturally. But it’s not the only incident of its sort she’s had to deal with, she said. There was the woman, apparently on drugs, who once caused a scene outside her home, along Lincoln Avenue in southern Ogden.

“She was doing flips and screaming and yelling at people,” Torres said. Then the woman started taking her clothes off.

Torres, originally from Seattle, lived in Layton before moving to Ogden four years ago, first drawn to the area by family. She never happened upon errantly disposed syringes in the Davis County city, though, and she says the two Northern Utah cities are sharp contrasts.

“Layton is more of a suburban area. Ogden is more of ghetto poverty,” she said.

That’s not to say she doesn’t like Ogden. Torres, a stay-at-home mom, has been active in her children’s school, New Bridge Elementary, and also volunteers with the Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership, which works to combat poverty.

“I’m an advocate for Ogden. That’s what keeps me here,” she said.

Indeed, she pulls out some papers, given the opportunity to discuss the attributes and deficiencies in Ogden, and starts reeling of what she says are some of the key issues here. Authorities need to do more to fight gangs, she maintains, and more needs to be done to help the working poor.

“We need to increase the minimum wage to keep people out of poverty,” she said.

She sees others involved in Ogden — people stepping up to the plate to help — and that helps counter any ill feelings about the city.

“What’s good is the people,” Torres said. “There are a lot of good people who are willing to give back in Ogden. There are people with good hearts who believe in giving it forward.”

Still, that doesn’t minimize the many issues here that need addressing here.

“It needs help. It needs to be cleaned up. Man, I could talk to you for hours,” she says.


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