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Volunteers Help Homeless Prepare For Colder Temperatures

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A jump in calls from the homeless community prompted those with Volunteers of America – Utah to drop off much-needed supplies near Taufer Park on Tuesday.

Organization leaders said on a normal day they receive nearly 25 calls. That number doubled on Monday.

With a hard-freeze warning in effect beginning Wednesday night, the worry is that those who deal with homelessness could lose limbs or suffer from hypothermia.

“We just want to make sure they are OK,” said Shawn Spalding, homeless outreach coordinator for Volunteers of America – Utah. “We are concerned about them.”

The concern is warranted. Utah’s homeless have lost limbs in the past, and these volunteers want to prevent that from happening to anyone else.

“They are people just like the rest of us,” Spalding said. “We care about them deeply. We want them to be comfortable and to have happy lives.”

The group handed out hygiene kits, clothes and shoes as well as Narcan kits to those in the park. Volunteer Melody Chacon wanted to make sure they have what they need to brave what’s ahead in the forecast.

“I’ve got compassion for these people; they are human just like we are,” she said. “You know, they have needs – just a little bit more than we do.”

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