Yesterday afternoon I stepped out of my air conditioned office to go home at 4pm and was hit with a wave of heat that immediately raised my heart rate and caused me to start sweating profusely. Rather than jumping in the car and turning on the AC, though, I rolled down my windows and rode all the way home. My drive home takes about an hour and by the time I got into my house I felt completely dehydrated and exhausted.
My commute yesterday was a little bit of an experiment. I wanted to see what effect the heat of the day would have on me after an hour. But on the way home I passed several men and women standing by the side of the road with their signs who had been out there for much longer than an hour. In fact, most of them had probably not been indoors all day.
The life of a homeless person is hard. Little things we take for granted like a clean place to wash our face, or an unlimited supply of fresh water are not available for them. Many of the public parks downtown have even removed their water fountains to discourage the homeless from hanging out there.
Often on our Mobile Loaves & Fishes truck runs, the folks we serve are much more concerned about getting something to drink than they are about the food. They’ll line up at the back of the truck where we have water and lemonade, gulping back cups of the ice cold beverages, and then ask us to fill up whatever bottles they have to take with them.
The summer heat in Austin, Texas is brutal and relentless. Last year we had the most consecutive 100 degree days in a decade–27 days in a row with 100+ degree temperatures! That kind of heat is really dangerous. Deadly, even.
For the homeless even more so. Many of our homeless friends have health conditions that they are unable to manage properly. Diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney infections–almost anything you can think of. Many of them are older, which means their bodies are just not functioning at optimal levels. Add to that the sleep deprivation and lack of proper nutrition that is part of life on the
Each summer Mobile Loaves & Fishes makes a concerted effort to provide additional water for our homeless friends. We take extra bottles out on the truck runs to make sure everyone is able to take plenty along with them for the day ahead. You can help us by contributing a small amount today–even $20 can go a long way in keeping our brothers and sisters hydrated. streets and you can see why it can be such a concern.