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Homeless Struggle With Cold Weather

Homeless Struggle With Cold Weather

Posted - Dec. 22, 2004 at 10:14 p.m.



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Alex Cabrero reportingWhat is idyllic for some, is downright dangerous for those who don't have a home. Snow is once again softly blanketing northern Utah, just in time for Christmas.

Kathy Tollett, Homeless: "They're lucky they have a place to go. They could be out here fighting the elements and that."

It's just too cold to try and stay outside. If not for the shelters, there would be an even bigger problem for the city's homeless.

When you can see your breath, and your lips start turning to rubber, you know it's cold outside. And if you're homeless, trying to stay warm is the only thing on your mind.

"It's a struggle sometimes."

Homeless people have enough to deal with just trying to survive. The cold makes it tougher.

Stephen LaRoe, Homeless: "When it drops down to 17 degrees and you're in a sleeping bag, you need to do a lot of praying just to ask God to keep you warm."

Stephen LaRoe has done that more times than he'd like to remember. Fortunately, he found his way to The Road Home: A homeless shelter in Salt Lake City. Some of his friends didn't.

Stephen LaRoe, Homeless: "I have known some people who've died out here on the streets... frozen to death in the cold. They froze on the railroad tracks when they used to be out here, frozen to death on the church steps."

When it gets below freezing, make-shift shelters will do little to keep you alive. It's a death sentence, which is why homeless shelters this time of year see a lot more people coming in.

Matt Minkevitch, "The Road Home": "We want to make sure we can get everyone in out of the cold and quite frankly, we have some individuals who will come in, in pretty bad shape."

Kathy Tollett, Homeless: "I'm trying to survive."

Kathy Tollett was in pretty bad shape. She was out there, homeless and in the cold, until she found help at a shelter.

Kathy Tollett, Homeless: "It's scary because when you don't have any money to keep you inside an apartment or anything... Where am I gonna go?"

No one ever plans to be homeless. But if it does happen, it's nice to know there is help.

Stephen LaRoe, Homeless: "It was difficult. This is a facility that's always offered help to the homeless."

A cold as it is now, we're hearing it's going to get even colder. That's not good news for the homeless.

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