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Tyler Street Team helping those experiencing homelessness in extreme heat

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 3:46 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - While most crank up the air conditioning when the sun’s rays start beaming down, those experiencing homelessness can’t do the same. During the summer months, the Tyler Street Team volunteers stay busy keeping those in need cool, hydrated, and safe.

“The biggest challenge we’ve faced is keeping these people cool,” said Shana Yeatts, a member of the Tyler Street Team. “They need a supply of water, they need a supply of ice.”

Yeatts helps with incoming donations and organizing and distributing supplies. She said the homeless community can benefit from hand-held fans, AA batteries, water bottles, and cooling cloths for their neck. It’s not just food that they need,

“They may need something as simple as a tall Styrofoam cup full of ice. I have found that that is the number one thing. They often have lots of food brought to them, water, but they don’t have ice,” Yeatts said.

In the last week, the street team has already seen a bad case of sunburn and gotten help from local doctors.

“We sent out a team of volunteers who gathered up prescription cream and sunscreen, and someone donated a long sleeve, lightweight shirt to protect his arms,” Yeatts said. “We got him a chair, we got him a clip-on umbrella, and he’s still homeless but we’ve kept him from further injury.”

Yeatts said their goal is to partner with local churches and organizations that may be willing to build relationships with these individuals.

“Maybe if they have a place for them, that’s not for everybody, but if someone had a place where they could get them out of the summer heat, that would help to have people to partner with us,” Yeatts said.

Yeatts said people everywhere can help out by keeping supplies in their car to give to those experiencing homelessness.

“Keeping things in your car like portable fans, spray water bottles, AAA batteries, AA batteries. They can keep an umbrella in their car, a long sleeve, lightweight shirt if they see someone in the sun,” Yeatts said. “They can get sunscreen, bug spray, a cap, a hat, anything they can give them to stay out of the heat and stay cool and protected.”

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