Laundry at the Payson Homeless and Homeless Veterans Initiative Warming Center

When it was open, this much laundry accumulated each week at the Payson Homeless and Homeless Veterans Initiative Warming Center. Now, the homeless must take care of it themselves as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the nation.

COVID-19 might have shut down the Payson Homeless and Homeless Veterans Initiative warming center early, but chair Neal Worthington said the group will not stop helping those in need.

“All clients have been required to make a plan, which we assist them with, and many are moving toward their goals,” said Worthington.

With the latest storm moving through Rim Country, Worthington and his volunteers sought to place “those yet in need in lodging that will get them out of the weather.”

Volunteer Dave Golembewski found affordable campers.

He hopes to provide more campers, either through donations or inexpensively, but realizes, “tough problem is where do you place them.”

Now the initiative seeks camping equipment donations to keep the homeless out of the rain while everyone practices social distancing.

Other issues the initiative grapples with includes finding food for the hungry, providing transportation to “their desired destinations” and seeking to resolve the long-term goal of providing transitional and affordable housing.

The chair praised Mount Cross Lutheran Church, the volunteers who cooked meals and staffed the center, and to the donors who made it all possible.

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