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Dec-24-2012 02:15printcommentsVideo

Help the Homeless Aids Salem Residents Facing a Tough Winter

In its third year, event sees highest attendance yet.

John Olivera of Steeles Karate
John Olivera of Steeles Karate. Photos and video by Jerry Freeman Salem-News.com

(SALEM) - The Help the Homeless event in Salem this weekend was a huge success, thanks to the efforts of John and Marci Olivera of Steeles Karate.

Volunteers are key in the event's success

In its third year, the event fed and provided helpful items to a large number of attendees who enjoyed good cheer and even live music.

After covering the event, some people who had made the trip to attend Help the Homeless from West Salem, asked if it was possible to get a ride back to the homeless camp they reside in.

While helping this small group secure some needed supplies like plastic bags, they explained that their homeless camp along the Willamette River was slowly being covered with water from the rising river.

After helping the small homeless group attain some helpful items, a Sergeant with the Polk County Sheriff's Office named Dustin Newman, approached the group to let them know that he had a number of items in the back of his vehicle that were specifically purchased to help people trying to survive in the chilly, wet weather.

Along with his wife, Newman was spending his weekend the same way as John and Marci Olivera; by aiding those less fortunate. Their efforts, along with the whole team of volunteers assembled to staff Help the Homeless, touched many people and improved lives by hands-on volunteer work, congratulations to all for a job well done.

Photo essay by Salem-News.com's Jerry Freeman

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Jerry Freeman is part of a new generation of dedicated news photographers who entered the Internet news industry as a second career. He shares in common with many people who fulfilled their life dream of becoming a visual journalist. Joining the Navy at an early age, and the Oregon Army Guard a few years later, Jerry has a wide range of life experiences. He describes himself as “a truck driver with a new found passion to bear witness to the world’s events.”

Teaming up with Salem-News.com he embarked on a new career as a video news photographer and reporter. Jerry's quick exhibition of natural talent and ability to shoot breaking news led to his becoming a published member of the Salem-News.com team.

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Josh Akers December 26, 2012 9:00 pm (Pacific time)

Now thats some police work! If our whole Salem community felt and acted the same way as these folks, we would be a model community for the whole nation to follow!

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