The Hope Center is working hard to keep the homeless safe during the heat wave

How high temperatures affect homeless people.
Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 4:57 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The heat wave affecting Rapid City might be affecting some more than others.

While most people are doing their best to stay inside air-conditioned buildings in the nearly 100-degree weather, the homeless population doesn’t have much of a choice. Places like the Hope Center are able to help get some people inside to cool down while supplying water to keep them hydrated.

“Definitely people are staying a little bit longer now that it’s really warm outside. We have ice water available, coffee whatever they might want to drink. We’re continuously checking in with people saying ‘Have you drank enough water today? Please stay hydrated,’ just reminding them how important it is that they’re drinking plenty of water,” said Melanie Timm, executive director for the Hope Center.

Being in the heat for extended periods of time can cause heat exhaustion. The Hope Center is doing whatever it can to make sure people get medical attention if needed and help shorten the time spent outside.

“Anytime anybody comes in and they are exhibiting some symptoms of not feeling well, we try to connect them with the mobile medic, if they would like us to do that. We also have bus tickets, when they are given to us, we give them right back out to people to use for public transportation. So hopefully that cuts down on a lot of being outdoors, walking long distances,” continued Timm.

Timm says since the increase in heat, they have had to refill the water tank more often, while also trying to accommodate whatever needs their visitors require.