For many of us, the word “summer” brings dreams of swimming pools, family vacations, and a renewed relationship with our good friends Ben and Jerry. But for the individuals in our community who are experiencing homelessness, heat can be a dangerous health risk. We want to give a shout out to the many organizations who are going the extra mile to help homeless individuals beat the heat. To start, here is a heartwarming video of a social experiment where four kids are given one dollar and the option of buying themselves ice cream or donating their money to the homeless person sitting across from the ice cream truck.
Lava Mae, San Francisco, CA
Six days a week, Lava Mae’s two buses and one trailer roll up to different spots throughout the city in order to provide services for homeless individuals. Equipped with bathroom and shower stalls that hook up to fire hydrants, they provide 20 minutes of privacy, cleanliness, comfort, and “radical hospitality” to those who need it. Lava Mae’s founder, Doneice Sandoval, said “We offer that level of service to people who are often so vulnerable, who have lost everything, and who are mostly either invisible or scorned.” Lava Mae runs all year round but they are especially helpful during the hot summer months.
Community Kitchen, Chattanooga, TN
Community Kitchen is a homeless shelter in Chattanooga, Tennessee that focuses on providing a safe and cool environment for homeless individuals to get out of the heat and back on their feet. Community Kitchen CEO, Jens Christensen, said, “We have showers, we have bathrooms, we have food, and we have pretty much anything you need to be safe during the day. We spent about $10,000 in the last week, just keeping the air conditioners running, because we have about 600 people that come through here each day.” Community Kitchen is open from 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., seven days a week, every day of the year.
Deloitte Consulting Partners with Open Door Mission, Omaha, NE
Open Door Rescue Mission operates all year round in order to help individuals experiencing homelessness. Open Door Mission program director, Steve Frazee said “giving out water to the homeless is important in order for everyone to stay hydrated.” On June 10, about 130 volunteers from Deloitte Consulting partnered with Open Door Mission to pack boxes of water and make sandwiches for homeless individuals in the community. Frazee continued, “We also have vans that go out to places where we know homeless people will tend to congregate so we can give them water.”
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