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Helping Homeless People Cope With Cold Weather

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By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV) It's tough enough to stay warm in bitterly cold temperatures like today's, even when you have a warm place to go home to. But how do homeless people stay warm in the wintertime?

People visit the Twin Falls Police Department asking for all kinds of help. But when it comes to staying warm in the wintertime, there’s not much that police officers can do to provide shelter for homeless people.

Officer Adam Dixon says, "Here at the department we don’t have any resources to help them out in the department itself. But what we can do is refer them to other agencies such as the Salvation Army, Safe House, Crisis Center, local churches and some other businesses."

At the Salvation Army of Twin Falls, right now they’re in desperate need of blankets, hats, and gloves for homeless people. Their business manager says cash donations to help with hotel stays would be especially appreciated.

Salvation Army Business Manager Nicki Kroese says, "It’s morning, it’s three degrees. On a normal workday, what would happen here is, a lot of them are coming in and volunteering for me. They work in my food pantry all day, it gives them a place to get in out of the weather, they have hot lunch with us, and then they’re going back and sleeping in their cars at night."

Kroese says every day the Salvation Army in Twin Falls sees about half a dozen people who are in need and homeless. She says homelessness is a much bigger need than most people realize.

Kroese says, "The problem in Twin Falls is there is no drop-in shelter. We need something where people can go at night. Say, drop in at 5 o’clock, have a hot meal, spend the night there, and be gone at 8 in the morning to go do whatever it is they do during the day. That is terribly lacking in Twin Falls."

If you'd like to help the Twin Falls Salvation Army with donations of warm winter clothes and blankets, or cash for hotel stays, please call them at 733-8720.

Jan. 1, 2013.


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