Utah's homeless in need of water, food and insect repellent

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Kevin McNamee is fully aware of what the valley's homeless population needs as he travels around in the Outreach van. He says, "I'm on the van probably about six hours a day."

One of his first stops Wednesday morning is a camp near the Jordan River, where a few homeless are staying. During the summer the more remote spots are more popular than shelters.

When McNamee finds the few people who are there, he gives them supplies like bottles from the last case of water he has, canned food, hygiene kits and clean underwear.

Kevin also worries about the dangers that come with living by the river like dehydration, heat exhaustion and West Nile.

McNamee says, "The mosquitoes are really bad this year. We have no bug spray. We don't have any bug spray to offer at this point either. It is a major concern."

Another stop is not far away. McNamee checks up on Sean Dressen, a man who was homeless for four years.

Dressen says he was, "living in a ditch with no hope for a future," until two months ago when, thanks to McNamee and Volunteers of America, he got into an apartment.

But on a day like today, when he has a chance to reflect on what's just across the river from four walls and a roof, he knows there are others out there who need still need help.

Volunteers of America is asking for donated bottled water, canned foods, insect repellent, clean underwear and backpacks.

You can drop off donations at:

Volunteers of America
Utah Administrative Offices
511 W. 200 South, Suite 160 in Salt Lake City.
Between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

For more information please call 801-363-9414 ext. 104, or visit www.voaut.org.E-mail: corton@ksl.com

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Courtney Orton


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