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Rescue mission prepares for more homeless as Summer heat approaches

Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - As the moderate temperatures of spring give way to summer, an East Texas rescue mission is preparing for its busiest time of year.

The summer heat means the homeless will look for a place of refuge, such as the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission in Longview.

While we’re experiencing beautiful spring weather, the mission is looking to its most demanding time of year.

“When the weather gets hot, the people that are kind of accustomed to staying out in the woods and on the streets, they get uncomfortable, and they decide air conditioning is a nice thing,” said mission director Brian Livingston.

Ordinarily, sleeping around 100 per night, as summer arrives, the mission traditionally doubles the number of people it takes in.

For months with temperatures over 90 degrees, it puts a tremendous strain on the mission’s resources.

Serving hundreds of meals three times a day will become a challenge with more arrivals.

“We’re doing good right now on our food supply, but as the numbers go up, it’s going to put a big dent in our supply. We need canned foods, even things like sunscreen, chapstick, hats,” Livingston said.

An important priority must be met.

“Water is a huge, huge need. We go through multiple cases a day during the summer. Bottled water. Just keeping people hydrated in this heat,” Livingston said.

Mission workers worry for people living in the woods and the streets, vulnerable to dehydration and heat stroke.

Mission will stay true to its policy, never turning anyone away in the heat or cold.

“We’re going to house anyone who needs a place to stay. We’re going to provide for their immediate physical needs as best we can,” Livingston said.

Donations of food and bottled water can be made at Hiway 80 Rescue Mission locations in Tyler and Longview.

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