“Like” it, text it, vote it: Provo is hoping to follow the footsteps of Salt Lake City and Ogden to climb the ladder of votes and win a $250,000 grant from Pepsi to help the homeless find a home by the end of January.

The Food and Care Coalition is a non-profit organization based in Provo that provides meals, dental/medical care and laundry/shower facilities among many other needed services. Executive Director of the Food and Care Coalition Brent Crane urges the community to vote so they can win the grant, finish their new transitional housing facility and pay for one year’s cost of operation.

“We serve about 250 homeless individuals a night and about 4,000 individuals long-term during a year,” Crane said. “The problem is that Utah Valley has no shelter; once this project is finished, it will be the first dedicated transitional housing model in the county.”

UVU Professor Linda Walton, who has served the Food and Care Coalition for over 30 years through volunteer work and fundraising, said the goal is to use the money to finish building 38 housing units and supply individuals with the support and skills needed to integrate back into society.

“The plan solves the problem, whereas the shelter is a temporary Band-Aid approach, compared to surgery, which would actually fix the problem,” Walton said, referring to the transitional housing model.

Walton explained that even though UVU students may not have a lot of money, they still have more than some members in the community and can help by serving and simply being aware of community needs.

“Students need to find out what this community is like even if they are not from here. We have the same social problems as L.A. or New York,” Walton said. “We can’t skip along thinking everything’s OK just because we go to college and have food and clothes.”

Out of the 1,000 organizations that submitted ideas to be voted on, only the top two will be awarded the $250,000 Pepsi refresh grant on Feb. 1.

To Vote:

Go to www.Facebook.com and search for “Pepsi Refresh Voting App” / Click “Go to App” and click “Allow,” then “Like”  /  Click on the tab “Pepsi Refresh,” then “Support ideas on Facebook”  /  Search “Friends of the Coalition” and then “Vote for this idea”

Text 105571  /  To 73774

www.RefreshEverything.com / in the upper right, search for “Friends of the Coalition”“Vote for “Housing for the Homeless – Utah County”