Unsheltered community in Salt Lake City overcome by flood, trying to find new home

Local News
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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The weather hurt the unsheltered community in Salt Lake City Monday night as a shelter on the banks of the Jordan River flooded and many community members were left scrambling.

Many of their belongings, including tents and blankets, became submerged.

Several volunteers from the group Unsheltered Utah did their best to help those get warmth and move their shelters. 

“There is a different disaster every week,” says a member of the unsheltered community, Desiree Mike. “What do I grab or what is most valuable to me?”

The flood caused about 50 members of the unsheltered community to lose much of their belongings, from clothing items, to tents, to food.

“This one crisis is not my responsibility, but all the stuff that goes on within the homeless community is all of ours’ responsibility,” says Unsheltered Utah Executive Director Wendy Garvin.

Garvin, who is unpaid along with the volunteers, says they typically spend several hours with the unsheltered community.

“It is a very cooperative society out here, but when they are in crisis, they all need to focus on their own stuff,” says Garvin. “So we are extra hands and we can help them lift their stuff out of the water.”

Salt Lake City was hit with almost an inch of rain Monday.

As the Jordan River was filling up, many members of the unsheltered community started to get down.

“I find myself like everybody was helping everybody pull their stuff out of the water, but I was alone,” says Mike.

Most of the time, the unsheltered community tells ABC 4 they feel alone, so when Garvin and Unsheltered Utah help them out, it makes a difference.

“You know what, we are forgotten,” says Mike. “We are.”

Garvin says her organization started during the COVID-19 pandemic after she was laid off.

She says there has been no government help, and little donations.

She adds the unsheltered community, especially the people along Jordan River, could use underwear, socks, and blankets.

“I got out here and I bonded with these folks and I love them I just love them all,” says Garvin.

Garvin says she always needs help to support the unsheltered community along the Jordan River.

If you do want to donate, go to unshelteredutah.org or give them a call.

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