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Magic Valley homeless population struggling in high heat

Posted at 7:44 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 21:44:08-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — As high temperatures continue to hit Twin Falls, the Magic Valley homeless community is facing challenges like heat stroke and dehydration with no where to go.

Valley House is a local homeless shelter currently working at full capacity. Many days having to turn away dozens of people searching for a place to live.

“There's people who call every day waiting for a family unit that are sleeping in their cars in the heat and some of them have children,” said Audrey Kelley, client manager at Valley House.

Kelley has worked with Valley House for eight years and says their capacity issue stems from a lack of affordable housing. Valley House uses a multi step programs to get its clients back on their feet, but many struggle to leave not by choice, but because there is no place for many clients to move into.

“The Magic Valley I know is in a crisis when it comes to housing. There isn’t enough affordable housing,” Kelley said.

RELATED: Valley House opens new facility for Twin Falls homeless community

Many residents at the Valley House have to walk to accomplish tasks like buying groceries or going to work. Angela Garcia is a client who blisters easily says she struggles getting to work everyday and has challenges with her two boys who stay at the Valley House.

“I have a nine-year-old and a four-year-old. They get angry a lot if they are not outside cause they are outside boys, not inside kids,” Garcia said.

Brandon Helsey is another client who lost his legs in a car crash in 2013. He says he struggles to breathe in higher temperatures and stays at home most days to avoid the sun.

“It’s very difficult [going] further than like a block or two, even in vehicles getting in and out, you know, it takes time for me to transfer over so I’m like I don’t like the heat that much,” said Helsey.

For more information on Valley House, click here.