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Denver’s homeless find support in freezing conditions

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DENVER -- Subzero temperatures are creating a dangerous situation for homeless people across Denver.

Many shelters were at capacity Thursday night. By mid-afternoon, officials at The Salvation Army announced their shelter was at capacity. Hundreds packed the Denver Rescue Mission on Thursday, while dozens were hoping blankets and sleeping bags outside would be enough.

Those on the streets in downtown Denver on Thursday were met with snacks, gloves and generosity thanks to Jim Scharper and his friends at Feeding Denver’s Hungry.

“The longer we stay here, you’ll see people come from out of the alleys,” Scharper explained.

Scharper, once homeless himself, has been fundraising and giving to those in need for the past three years. He knows a good number of homeless people elect not to stay in shelters because they would be forced to leave their belongings behind.

“Grab you a couple blankets, throw them in the sleeping bag, I guess,” one homeless man said. “Do what you can, man. Keep warm.”

Jim’s team gives out blankets, gloves and warming pads.

“Right now in these conditions, it’s really bad,” another homeless man said. “Any little bit of help we can get is greatly appreciated.”

Since escaping homelessness, Jim’s Feeding Denver’s Hungry now gives out thousands of meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Money is raised online and business support comes from Mile High Comics and Lil Devils Bar on Broadway.

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