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

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 18 2014 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.

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 www.theroadhome.org/give.

Email: marjorie@deseretnews.com

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