Hiway 80 Rescue Mission helps Longview survive summer heat

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 3:30 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 11:24 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Seasonally the hottest part of the East Texas summer is upon us, with late July, August, and even September traditionally pushing triple digit temperatures.

The blistering heat of late July and August means homeless and those seeking shelter will be coming through the doors of the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission, and it has already begun.

“It’s getting hotter and hotter and so more people are coming to the mission to escape the heat,” says mission development director Amelia Heatherly.

They began a drive in May for donations, expecting this time to come.

Already droves of people are coming in. And the missions policy remains the same: They will turn no one away.

With high 90′s and even triple digit temperatures, sometimes well into September, the mission can be over-capacity for weeks, even months.

“We’ll put mats and sleeping bags down, whatever we have to do to accommodate people in need. We want them to come in and be safe, and hydrate and eat,” Amelia says.

Some who stay at the mission say its a life-saver during the summer.

“I was homeless. Didn’t have no place to stay. I was sleeping in a car, until I got some help and they got me over here in this place,” says mission visitor Bobby Phifer.

But with so many, the mission’s resources will only stretch so far.

“75 cases of water will not last long when you have this many people. When we are at full capacity, we’re serving 6-hundred meals a day,” Heatherly says.

The mission needs donations of bottled water and food. They can be made at ‘Hiway 80 Rescue Mission’ locations in Tyler and Longview.

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