Homeless teens struggling to find warmth in winter

SALT LAKE CITY – With overnight temperatures dropping into the teens or lower, homeless teens across the Wasatch Front are struggling to stay warm.

At any given time, the Salt Lake Valley has 500 or more homeless youth trying to survive. Last year, the Homeless Youth Resource Center in Salt Lake City saw more than 1,200 teens.

Teens between the ages of 15 and 17 years old can’t check into homeless shelters on their own, so many have to find other places to stay warm, from parking garages to closed-down buildings.

“It’s really cold sometimes. It’s bone-chilling. Sometimes when you can’t go places, you have to sit down on the concrete. It’s so cold,” said 19-year-old Preston Exall.

Teens can go to Salt Lake County Youth Services to get overnight shelter and other resources to help stay warm through the winter months. For more, visit www.youth.slco.org.

The Volunteers of America Utah Chapter is also in the process of raising money to build a shelter for homeless youth. For more information, visit www.voaut.org.

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