Homeless shelter sees 260 percent increase in those seeking service

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Road Home has seen their biggest increase since 2007, a whopping 260 percent.

Because of the huge need, they opened their overflow shelter in Midvale a month early this year.

There are more than 100 families and about 200 kids currently staying at the shelter. The director says the increase is because of the economy. Many families are still living on the edge and even a minor hiccup can throw them into homelessness.

Two easy, simple ways you can pitch in
  • Donate! Nine dollars gets someone off the street for a night
  • Put in time. Don't have extra cash? Give your time even just for an hour by volunteering at a local shelter.
  • "Something happens, their car breaks down so they no longer have transportation to their employment, their hours get cut back, they get laid off, somebody has a health crisis in a family," said Celeste Eggert with the Road Home.

    "For all those reasons, we're seeing more families turning to us that at any other time in our history."

    Eggert said that more than ever, they're seeing first time homeless families seeking shelter. Many saying they used to be the ones to donate, but now they are in need of services.

    Mark Michini is one example. He moved to Utah from California in hopes of finding a better life for his son, arriving on Christmas day a year ago. But being a single father with an autistic child made it impossible for him to find work.

    "I had to take him to school, be there to pick him up," Michini said.

    But here is the good news. With help many are getting back on their feet, and Michini is one of them. He got back to work in October. But he couldn't have landed the gig without community help.

    Now Mark is weaning off assistance and moving into his own home.

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    Devon Dolan


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