Crossroads Mission Avenue provides refuge to homeless from heat

As Central Nebraska stares down the possibility of triple-digit heat, concern grows for vulnerable populations, including those who are homeless.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 9:37 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - As Central Nebraska stares down the possibility of triple-digit heat, concern grows for vulnerable populations, including for those who are homeless.

The Associated Press reported in June that heat attributes to 1,500 deaths every year, and half of those deaths are people who are homeless.

Crossroads Mission Avenue is doing its part to make sure they keep everyone safe this weekend. Executive Director of Crossroads Daniel Buller told Local4 News that all three of their locations and over 200 beds are ready to house people seeking refuge from the oppressive heat.

Buller also says the heat brings more people into their facilities than colder months will because people can artificially create heat, while cooling is not as easy to produce.

He said if people don’t seek shelter the consequences could be dire.

“I’ve heard of a couple of people who were out on the streets who had heat strokes, you ended up in the hospitals,” Buller said. “If they don’t have access to good food and water their health can diminish very quickly, and that’s why places like Crossroads and other organizations where people can get in and get cool, you might think of those as cooling stations, it’s very important that they can get in for some people it might save their life.”

Director of Hall County Emergency Management Jon Rosenlund said if people have pre-existing conditions that could put them at increased risk for heat-related illnesses when they can’t get to shelter.

“Issues of heat, whether you are indoors or out, will magnify those natural health issues, and so you want to watch yourself, watch those who are at risk,” Rosenlund said. “Take the measures to get them indoors in the air conditioning. Give them a decent amount of water, don’t force it but you want to give them good water to help them be able to regulate their body temperature more effectively.”

Rosenlund also told Local4 that heat can sometimes be an underestimated weather emergency.

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