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Utah organizations step up to provide resources for homeless individuals during winter weather

Posted at 10:11 PM, Dec 09, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — Thursday was a bitter day in the cold for those facing homelessness. Limited shelter beds filled up across the city and dining halls and overflow shelters stepped up to make sure people were equipped to face the elements.

From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., people can stay warm inside the Weigand Homeless Resource Center and avoid the snowfall outside.

“The biggest thing for individuals facing homelessness is where are they going to go? And how are they going to stay dry?” said Randy Chappell, director of basic needs with Catholic Community Services.

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For lunch and dinner, Catholic Community Services offers hot meals at the St. Vincent De Paul Dining Hall.

At 7 p.m., the Road Home turns the hall into an overflow shelter where sixty people can stay overnight.

Before people head back out into the snow, volunteers make sure to hand out more meals to go.

“Bad weather is an awful thing for anybody to go through but when you don’t have a place to go, it turns into a worse condition of freezing and possibly death,” said Chappell. “Having that space and the food and the shelter is important for anybody.”

Out on the sidewalks, members of the organization Nomad Alliance passed out hot chocolate, coffee and cookies.

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“We’re going to do what we can to save some lives tonight and provide some humanity on these streets,” said Nomad Alliance founder Kseniya Kniazeva.

Kniazeva said Salt Lake City needs more shelters and affordable housing.

“My heart breaks for this population. Nobody should live like this,” she said.

The Weigand Homeless Resource Center is in desperate need of hygiene and winter clothing donations. Volunteers said there is a big need for sweats and proper winter footwear. You can drop off clothing at the dining hall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also donate money online by clicking here.