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Non-profit organizations help homeless during summer heat

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 7:34 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -This June has been the 10th hottest on record since 1887, and it’s forcing a lot of people to head inside for cooler temperatures. But for Lincoln’s homeless population, avoiding the heat isn’t that easy.

By shuttle bus or by foot, local non-profits are getting food and water into the hands of those that need it most by meeting them literally where they are, in downtown Lincoln.

“Some people are hunkered down in the area they inhabit every day,” said Stanford Bradley, Outreach Specialist, Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach “No matter where the place is, people still need to be served.”

June has been hot. It’s the first time Lincoln has reached 100 degrees since 2018 and back-to-back 100-degree days since 2012.

“The heat can be very dangerous and life-threatening as well,” said Glenn Schawang, Outreach Specialist, Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach “We’re really just trying to do what we can to help individuals.”

The People’s City Mission estimates there are 277 staying at the mission and its other campuses right now, and that number usually fluctuates with the weather.

“Guys come in when it gets really cold, but also when it gets really hot, or if there’s a big storm or something,” said Pastor Tom Barber, The People’s City Mission. “We’ll probably house most of the homeless in Lincoln, at least the men’s shelter when it gets really really bad.”

The Mission estimates that it hands out about 100 sack lunches a day at both the shelter and via shuttle. The Matt Talbot team walks downtown starting at the Bennet-Martin Library once a week.

“The living is hard,” said Bradley. “It wears on your body. Once again, that’s why it’s important to get out and help the homeless population, even if it’s just handing them a bottle of cold water.”

Both Matt Talbot and the City Mission said they really focus on water to keep people healthy and out of the hospital.

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