Real estate brokerage shares carols with the homeless
25.6 percent have a reported mental illness and 13 percent of homeless adults are The holiday season is focused on family, veterans. and homes often become the place of As Christmas approached, Preston’s gathering. When Preston was struggling mother Kathleen Lopez chose to spend with a severe mental illness, it was hard her time with those who are experiencing for him to feel at home even around those mental illness or are without a home. No who loved him the most. While his family one knows better than her that there are welcomed him with open arms, his times when you can’t always fix people disease affected his mind in such a way or take away the challenges they face, but that he often refused their help. Preston it doesn’t mean that you can’t share hope suffered with his severe mental illness for through a smile and song. seven years before taking his own life. “These people are all someone’s son, Though he always had a home, Preston, daughter, sister or brother,” Lopez said. like many individuals with severe mental “When I remember that, I feel compassion illness, ended up in unfortunate circumstances for them and the challenges they are experiencing. that can lead to homelessness. It always lifts me up when I can
According to the Utah Housing and make their day a little brighter.” Community Development Division, there Lopez has made this a tradition as she are nearly 3,025 individuals who are without invites employees from her real estate a home within the state of Utah. This brokerage Sentinel Sales and Management doesn’t take into account people who at as well as friends and family to join her some point experience temporary homelessness, twice a year in donating time, money and which measured an estimated items to benefit the homeless and mentally 14,516 people in 2015 within the state. ill. This year, Lopez and company decided Though many people feel that homeless to sing Christmas songs at the Provo Food individuals are to blame for their situation, and Care Coalition. many are victims of circumstance, illness There are many ways to donate with and trauma from violence or abuse. The the Provo Food and Care Coalition. If you Utah Homeless Management Information would like to get involved, please visit System found that of the Utah homeless their website at https://foodandcare.org/ population, nearly 29 percent are children, volunteer/opportunities/ to learn more.