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Group Seeks To Help Winter Homeless Encampments In Norristown

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NORRISTOWN, PA — As freezing weather sets in this winter, an issue that has long faced the Norristown area is continuing unabated: groups of area residents who cannot afford basic shelter.

Homeless encampments exist throughout Norristown, and several residents are stepping up to do whatever they can to help out.

Daniel Butts, an organizer of a well-publicized effort, says the situation for many of these individuals is dire and unjust.

“It’s bad, people are dying on the streets (and) river and we are trying to help out the best we can,” he writes.

Butts has launched a GoFundMe campaign for the effort to bring the encampments food and supplies. A total of $9,765 had been donated as of Friday morning. There have been 109 different donors.

“There’s some families out there,” he said, “not just addicts. And even if they are an addict of some sort they still are humans and deserve hope.”

In addition to funds, the group is looking for numerous supplies, including water, tarps, bungees, charcoal, trash bags, storage bins, paper towels, orange gojo soap, canned foods, matches, socks, hand and feet warmers, clothing, carts, bikes, locks, coolers, aluminum pans, cereal, and propane.

The encampments are located in various stretches along the river, in the woods by the Schuylkill River Trail, elsewhere. There are at least 19 homeless people trying to survive the winter near the Norristown Transportation Center.

Montgomery County issued another “Code Blue” warning on Friday, starting at 8 p.m. and continuing until 8 a.m. Sunday. Code Blues are declared when winter conditions “pose a threat of serious harm or death to individuals without shelter.”

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