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Extreme heat hard on the homeless

The homeless are feeling the affects of the heat here in Indiana. It can be life threatening for most of them, but the Rescue Mission prepares for times like these to prevent the worst from happening.

Posted: Jul 22, 2019 7:41 PM
Updated: Jul 22, 2019 10:38 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - In quite a few places in the state, a lot of the homeless scramble to find a place to stay cool.

Fortunately for the homeless here in Fort Wayne, there's the Rescue Mission.

"I'm not really a hot weather person, so to be able to get out the heat is a blessing,"Warren Gates said.

Warren Gates is one of those people looking for place to stay cool and dry as we've experienced rainfall and unbearable heat within the last few days.

"Especially for a person that really don't have family. I don't have family and really do not know anyone else that you can go to their house and take a shower, get out the heat, get out the cold, so it's a real struggle," he explained.

It's a struggle many here in Fort Wayne face.

The National Healthcare Council For the Homeless said the homeless are more at risk for heat related illnesses and dehydration.

Since the heatwave, Pastor Sharon Gerig said people have come in numbers seeking shelter.

"We have seen an increase in individuals coming. We've probably had 20 to 25 folks that have been here. A lot of folks coming in and out before and after lunch and stay cool. We've also seen an increase in individuals staying for the night with the men checking in for emergency bed night."

The Rescue Mission is the main hub for the city's emergency weather plan.

"The Rescue Mission is the city's first cooling center, and then if they feel the need to add an additional cooling center, they will do that. That's the same for during the wintertime as well."

The Rescue Mission is providing water, air, and food to anyone who needs it, and Gerig wants everyone to know this kind of care isn't only provided when it's hot or cold.

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