Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014

The Road Home's bumper crop of babies means need for diapers, formula

By Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News

Published: Tue, Feb. 18 7:54 p.m. MST

 Victoria is held at the Road Home winter overflow shelter in Midvale Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. The shelter has 140 children staying there and is asking for donations of diapers, wipes and formulas.

Victoria is held at the Road Home winter overflow shelter in Midvale Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. The shelter has 140 children staying there and is asking for donations of diapers, wipes and formulas.

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

MIDVALE — The mother of a baby girl and a toddler son, Brizya Rodriguez will soon move her small family into their own apartment.

But for now, The Road Home's community winter shelter is home. And her children, Victoria and Anthony Herrera, were among 83 kids who spent Monday night at the shelter with their families.

There were 50 other children — part of 24 families — at The Road Home's shelter in downtown Salt Lake City on Monday night.

Customarily, February is one of the busiest months between the two shelters. Recent warm temperatures have lowered head counts, but the number of families with babies is on the upswing. That means the available supply of diapers and infant formula is running low.

The Road Home, on Twitter and Facebook, has asked for donations of each.

"There's good people here who just need a little help," Rodriguez said.

Claudia Palomeque, who moved into the overflow shelter with her 11-year-old son in early January, said there appears to be "a lot more babies" at the present time.

"They do need a lot more diapers and formula," she said.

Matthew Minkevitch, executive director of The Road Home, said the shelter experiences fluctuations in demand patterns.

"We don't predict who will come our way. We know we're going to have families in need. We have no idea if they're going to be bringing teenagers or newborns," he said.

Presently, the shelters are serving numerous families with babies. Playpens, portable cribs and strollers are scattered throughout the shelter.

"That could change in the next few weeks, but right now we have a lot of kids in diapers," Minkevitch said.

Last year, the community winter shelter served 356 families, including 724 children. The seasonal shelter is scheduled to close in early April, Minkevitch said.

Donations of formula and all sizes of diapers can be accepted during business hours at the overflow shelter, 529 W. 7300 South. Donations also can dropped off at the main shelter, 210 S. Rio Grande St., Salt Lake City.

Contributions also can be made online at


1. mrjj69
bountiful, UT,
Feb. 19, 2014

it is indeed sad that so many people choose to have families, and are unable to provide even the most basic needs for their kids. Some certainly lost jobs, but many others apparently choose this lifestyle, with no means to support it, the community can only do so much.

2. What in Tucket?
Provo, UT,
Feb. 19, 2014

Whatever the reason I am for helping them. But our welfare industry does make people less likely to want to work.

3. Nan BW
ELder, CO,
Feb. 19, 2014

Indeed we need to help everyone, youngsters included, to learn self-reliance. I think children fed meals at school should help earn their way by doing small tasks so they won't be inclined just to eat the sugary tasty items and toss the vegetables and other not so enticing foods. I think everyone at shelters should help with the upkeep and cleaning. I think there could even be workrooms where they could learn to do repairs, sewing, carpentry, etc. However, I think we also need to provide diapers and food for babies, whether their parents are irresponsible or just down on their luck. We need more community gardens. We need to all help each other more, especially with life's lessons.

4. Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT,
Feb. 19, 2014

Compassion fatigue has set in.
I pay fast offerings and my taxes. I donate to Goodwill and DI. I work at the storehouse. I give to Salvation Army.
And it seems that there are groups with their hand out every couple of weeks. Soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters...

5. Tators
Hyrum, UT,
Feb. 19, 2014

One other factor I recently read about is that many illegals (besides legal citizens) are either currently unemployed or working for minimum wage (or sometimes less when paid under the table). It's hard to afford rent along with other basic family necessities on minimum wages.

Even though they can't afford the kids, they have them anyway because those kids will automatically be citizens (a misuse of that law, but that's another story). And with legal citizen children, illegal parents view that as a form of security... since society frowns on separating children from their parents.

As illegals, they don't qualify for some other forms of aid, so the homeless shelter is their choice. No one there asks about citizenship papers, etc.

BTW: My wife and I strongly support the homeless shelter cause. We collect clothes and blankets from neighbors and local church ward members and then make trips to SLC to donate there every few weeks throughout the winter. People are people and children of God regardless of citizenship status.