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Organizers say need is greater for homeless students this year

Outside the downtown Salt Lake Road Home Shelter

SALT LAKE CITY — Monday marks the first day of school for many kids across the state of Utah, including many homeless kids in Salt Lake County. Those kids are getting a lot of their gear from donors, but some advocates say there is more need this year.

The Road Home Apple Tree program hand-delivered backpacks and clothes to homeless kids recently for the 15th year in a row.

Organizers say that normally, they deliver supplies to roughly 150 kids but this year they handed out supplies to 210 kids and still had 30 more left to fill.

Program organizer Chris Thomas says there is a lot of movement in and out of the Road Home, adding that many of the kids they measured for the program moved into transitional housing, and other kids have taken their place in the shelter.

Even though the need is growing he said, so has the generosity of donors.

Thomas says people have donated 2,500 items to the shelter as well as having more businesses partner with them to fill the growing need.