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Shelters Filling as Temperatures Drop

Shelters Filling as Temperatures Drop



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Tonya Papanikolas ReportingAs temperatures drop, many people are feeling the effects, especially the homeless. Last night shelters saw their busiest night yet.

In the summer, you'll find a lot of homeless people spending the night at Pioneer Park. But now, even with heavy coats, it's just too cold. Even the people that try to stick it out longer are heading in to the homeless shelters.

The Road Home, along with its overflow shelters, has been recently housing around 680 people or so a night. But last night they had the highest number yet; 754 people spent the night in the shelters, and they expect that number will go up as the cold weather continues.

Usually the Road Home has a requirement that most people staying in the homeless shelter have to be out of the dorms during the day, but it was so cold today they let people stay inside.

Ricardo Torress, Homeless: "Where else can I go? I have no money to go anywhere. I'm doing what I can to survive and this cold weather is a real nightmare."

Daniel Brown, Homeless: "You don't want to live out there, no. It's not fun. It's miserable."

Michelle Flynn, Associate Director, Road Home Homeless Shelter: "It's very hard. It's hard to be homeless at any time of the year. But when you don't have a place to stay and we have a waiting list like we do in Salt Lake, it's very difficult. And it's mostly those individuals that struggle the most."

Though the downtown shelter does have a waiting list, two overflow shelters are accommodating everyone right now who needs a place to stay. The Road Home also gives out coats to people who need them. They say their biggest need this time of year is blankets and heavy socks.

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