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How the Homeless Deal With the Heat in Austin

KUT News

As the Texas heat rolls in, some local organizations are trying to figure out how to help the elderly and homeless weather extreme temperatures. 

“Water shouldn’t be a luxury,” says Steve Luteran, Executive Director of Front Steps, which provides assistance for the homeless. “Hydration is a fundamental need of the human body. Without it, Austin’s homeless face heat exhaustion, stroke and permanently disabling conditions.”

Front Steps will begin distributing roughly 76,000 bottles of water to the homeless on Wednesday.

And what of the elderly? Family Eldercare has a different method to help them stay cool. They’re planning to deliver around 7,000 fans and 100 air-conditioners to individuals and families in need. 

To get all of those fans and AC units, the group is holding a Fan Fare Friday June 22nd. People can donate equipment for the drive, or simply make a contribution. 

“The summer fan drive is really there to provide not only fans for individuals that are in great need for the summer and just trying to make it through these record temperatures,” says Family Eldercare's Outreach Coordinator Melissa Gray. “Really, it provides a sense of hope.”

Family Eldercare officials say individuals can help out on their own, too. “It is incredibly important for neighbors to be looking out for each other,” says Autumn Keiser, Director of Communications and Development at Family Eldercare. “If you know that there is an older adult or a person with disabilities in your neighborhood that is alone most of the time, take a few minutes to go knock on their door and just check and make sure they’re OK.”

Family Eldercare's Fan Fare Friday runs from 6am to midnight on June 22nd at Threadgill’s World Headquarters on Riverside in South Austin.

Robb Jacobson is a news intern at KUT and a recent graduate of Indiana University.