Homeless Struggling to Deal with 110 Degree Temperatures

posted by 1200 WOAI - 

There are major weather warnings across the board today as the thermometer is expected to top 108 degrees, and crews at the city's homeless shelter are preparing for a massive rush, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

"Our fans with misters are operating.  We have plenty of water. We have water with electrolytes, all throughout our campus including the courtyard," Haven for Hope's Art Vela says.

That courtyard is normally a safe space for drug addicts who are looking for a place to sleep.  Vela says, because narcotics affect the body's ability to regulate heat, they have a medical staff ready to check vital signs.

"We do that all the time, but we increase it during hot weather because we know the dangers that our out there," he says.

San Antonio is stuck in the middle of a heatwave, with today expected to be the high point, edging close to 110 degrees.  

It's so hot, Metro Health has activated what they call a Level Two advisory.

"Spend time in public/private locations with air-conditioning such as public libraries, recreation centers, senior centers, shopping centers/malls during their business hours. Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death," the agency encourages.

But for the homeless population, spending time inside is fraught with problems.  Many are forced outside in the heat of the day.

Vela says they have crews hitting the streets.

"They actually go out, looking for people in camps.  They look for people living on the streets and talk them into coming to the Haven," he explains.That head can also be deadly for kids left in cars.  In Houston, a three year old boy was killed after being left last week in a daycare van, which was used for a field trip.

Statewide, Child Protective Services is urging people to stay vigilant for those in trouble, especially small children.  Regional Director Erica Banuelos says that may mean breaking a car window, if there is a child inside and nobody is there to help.

"Any time a child is an unsafe condition, we need to take upon ourselves to break the window, if that is what needs to happen to keep a child safe.

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