Salt Lake City woman creates candle stoves to keep homeless population warm

Jan 22, 2023, 5:10 PM | Updated: 5:19 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City woman expects to make 800 candle stove kits to help homeless people stay warm this winter.

Susan Keene takes donated candles, cans, and other supplies and creates small candle stoves in her kitchen. It’s her third year doing this.

Keene relies on donations from the community to assemble her candle stove kits. She has a helper in Layton who helps supply pot holders, so people using the stove don’t burn their fingers touching the hood or other pieces.

Each kit has instructions on how to use the candle stove, two stoves, one hood, matches in a container, pot holders, and safety pins. There are also extra items, such as a blanket, pair of socks, hand warmers, or a small game.

“I think I’ve always had a spot for homeless people,” Keene expressed. “My brother was homeless, I’ve had a daughter that’s been homeless, and my niece and her four kids were homeless for three years.”

Keene partners with organizations like Unsheltered Utah to distribute the kits to the people who need them. Wendy Garvin with Unsheltered Utah said the source of heat has kept people alive this winter.

“We have people asking for her candle stoves all the time,” Garvin said. “We feel like any sort of heating device has saved lives this winter.”

Unsheltered Utah helps put on movie nights for people experiencing homelessness when the temperature drops below 25 degrees. Garvin said they’ve seen about ten cases of frostbite every night.

“We have space for 85 people, and we’ve had to turn people away every night,” she said.

Garvin said a lot of shelters had reached their capacity.

“For people who we can’t get into movie night, we call around to different shelters and see if they have any space,” she explained. “The last few nights, they have not. It’s been very full.”

Garvin and others are participating in Utah’s annual statewide homeless count starting Jan. 26-28.

“In order to get funding from the federal government, we have to have an accurate count of how many people are living out here on the street,” Garvin said.

She encourages people to volunteer to count and interview people to determine what resources are needed.

“All you’re doing is walking up and talking to people out here on the street, in their tents,” Garvin said. “You ask them how long they’ve been homeless, what the barriers might be for them getting into housing.”

In the meantime, Keene is always taking donations for her candle stove project to help keep people warm.

She’s especially in need of 29-ounce cans; if there’s pumpkin inside, she can accept it. Keene also asks for cat food cans, green bean cans, candles, prescription pill containers, small games, socks, hats, new underwear, mittens, soft food with a long shelf life, matches, and paperback books.

All donations can be dropped off at the Avenues Pet Clinic located at 350 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, or can be left at the doorstep of the basement apartment located at 611 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City.

KSL 5 TV Live

Good News

FILE - Bonneville International was recognized on Tuesday for its fundraising efforts during and af...

Mark Jones

Bonneville International recognized for its ‘Maui Strong’ fundraising efforts

Bonneville International has been recognized with the National Association of Broadcasters Service to America Award for its "Maui Strong" fundraising campaign, as announced Tuesday.

20 hours ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Tamara Vaifanua

Utah driver helps protect kids who were playing in busy SLC street

Humbled by the praise, Jason Carter said that as a father, he would want someone to do the same for his kids.

1 day ago

An abandoned dog was found by a woman in Carbon County, Utah with multiple gunshot wounds in his he...

Clayre Scott

Blujay, dog who survived gunshots to head, is going home

Blujay, a dog who miraculously survived being shot in the head last week, is going home.

12 days ago

Olive (left) and Bruno (right) severely dehydrated once they were found....

Erin Cox

Two Dobermans missing for 11 days, reunited with North Ogden family

Two dogs that were missing for 11 days in northern Utah captured the attention of hundreds of people on social media and are now back home.

13 days ago

(Spencer Cannon)...

Shelby Lofton

Lehi neighbors show support for Utah National Guard soldier’s family

A Lehi neighborhood celebrated this Easter with a bit of patriotic flair.

17 days ago

An abandoned dog was found by a woman in Carbon County, Utah with multiple gunshot wounds in his he...

Mary Culbertson and Brianna Chavez

‘Easter miracle’: Abandoned dog found with severe gunshot wounds survives surgery

A heartfelt dog rescue quickly became the source of community attention after he was found with severe gunshot wounds and fought to a miraculous recovery.

17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Salt Lake City woman creates candle stoves to keep homeless population warm