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ONLY ON ABC-7: Could battery-powered vests prevent homeless from freezing?

A Las Cruces man told ABC-7 that battery-powered vests could prevent some homeless people from freezing in the bitter cold this winter.

“It could kill you, absolutely kill you,” said Robert Paquette.

Paquette raised $3,000 to purchase 25 battery-powered warming vests for the homeless in Las Cruces. The Gospel Rescue Mission on Amador Avenue is distributing the vests.

“You could go without food for a long time, you can go without water for a certain amount of time, but you cannot go without heat when it’s really, really cold, because you can get hypothermia and die,” Paquette said.

Paquette told ABC-7 he spent many nights in the cold between the ages of 13 and 16.

“Because of circumstances beyond my control, when I was young, I was homeless,” Paquette said. “I know what it’s like. Not only to go hungry, but to not have shelter and heat.”

This year’s fundraiser is over, but Paquette encourages any Las Cruces residents to donate to the Gospel Rescue Mission and ask that their money be used toward Operation Heat.

“How much is a person’s life worth to us?” Paquette asked. “It’s worth much more than $130. That’s what each one of these vests costs and I’m more than willing to spend the money on one for any one person who’s freezing.”

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