SLC shelters reach capacity as temperatures drop

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Terrence Bass knows full well how brutal the cold can be.

“We packed blankets over our tent and waited for them to freeze,” Bass said.

The Salt Lake Rescue Mission visits camps Tuesdays and Thursdays with blankets and other items people may need. Employment counselor Steve Spiess said he is also letting people know where they can get more help if they want it.

“And more than anything, build a friendship with them, show them they matter,” Spiess said.

Between closing the health department of a homeless camp and closing an overflow shelter for understaffing, Spiess said they quickly reached capacity.

On cold nights like Wednesdays, he also worries about people who don’t want to stay in a shelter.

“For some people it’s that they don’t feel comfortable around people, and so they don’t want to be in a shelter full of people,” Spiess said.

Bass said he was one of those people. He didn’t want to live in a shelter, but now it’s home and he has more than just a warm place to stay.

“A little compassion and understanding goes a long way there,” Bass said.

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