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State Launches Campaign to Help the Homeless through Tax Returns

Andrea Smardon
Governor Gary Herbert demonstrates how to donate to the homeless on state tax returns with homeless advocate Pamela Atkinson. (February 8, 2013)

When Utahns file their state taxes this year, they can also donate to help the homeless.  The Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund Tax Campaign was officially launched at Saint Vincent De Paul dining hall in Salt Lake City Friday.

“This project can have a huge impact,” said Pamela Atkinson, a long-time advocate for the homeless, “Every dollar that comes in, it means we can leverage that dollar and get private funds also, but it also means that we’re able to deliver these services for all of our homeless friends.”

Taxpayer contributions will help fund meals, shelter, employment services, educational training, daycare, and other programs for families that need assistance.  Citizens are asked to pledge two dollars or more. 

“It’s like less than the price of a cheeseburger,” said Governor Gary Herbert, “Just give two dollars or more, and help people help themselves.”

Michael Avila was once homeless and came to St Vincent De Paul for help.  Now he has his own home, and comes back every day to volunteer. 

“I think if I hadn’t had this help, I might be dead by now,” said Avila, “I would have probably drank myself to death or froze to death out there.  Today, I have my own place.”

Those interested in donating can fill in the amount on line 28 of their state tax return.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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