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Nov 2, 2012 10:09 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Salvation Army needs donations to help Tucson's homeless this winter

TUCSON- Quinton McMorries knows what it's like to live on the streets.

"There's nothing worse than shivering all night and trying to get to sleep, but you know you can't," McMorries says.

The 22-year-old couldn't find a job, so he turned to the Salvation Army's Hospitality House at 1021 North 11th Avenue. "It's a wonderful place," McMorries says.

A safe haven, that's now preparing for its busiest time of year.

"Operation Deep Freeze" kicks off on November 15. Anytime the temperature dips below 35 degrees, or 40 degrees with rain, the Hospitality House opens its doors. "Anyone in the community who is needing shelter for the evening, they can come here, shower and get a nice hot meal," says Kimberly Graham, a case manager for the Salvation Army.

Once the cooler temperatures really kick in, it will get about 85 people seeking shelter each night. "We don't want anyone out in the community, sleeping in the parks and being cold," Graham says.

The Salvation Army brings in extra staff to help out with demand and it banks on donations to make a difference. "It helped me get on my feet," McMorries says. "I'm a young kid, so they just gave me that helping hand up and for that I just thank them."

The 18th Annual Salvation Army Winter Coat and Blanket Drive is officially underway.

Donations of new and gently used coats, warm clothing, mittens, gloves, scarves and blankets for Tucson's less fortunate may be dropped off at any of the five Naughton's locations:

North :1140 W. Prince South: 4226 S. 6th Ave.
East : 6202 E. Speedway Southeast : 8190 E. 22nd St.
Northwest : 3936 W. Costco Dr.

These needed winter resources are distributed to anyone in need through The Salvation Army's Hospitality House, 1021 N. 11th. (Donations may also be dropped off at the shelter.)

The drive will continue through February 2013.

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