PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The team at Crossroads RI says most people are aware of the challenges faced by homeless people in the winter – but many are unaware that they face similar problems with the summer heat.
Summer is in full swing in Rhode Island with temperatures hovering near the 90s most days.
On Monday, Eyewitness News got an exclusive look at what its like to be homeless during the summer.
“When there’s 100-degree heat – 90-degree heat outside humidity – there’s still folks that are living outdoors or in unsafe places, whether it’s in their cars or abandoned buildings,” said Karen Santilli, president and CEO of Crossroads.
If you’re homeless, the summer is a time when water, shade and refuge from the heat can be difficult to come by.
“Just like [when] we have the frigid cold, we have the exhausting heat,” said Outreach Team member Joe Fullen. “A lot of time people tend to pass out and they become vulnerable to stroke, heat exhaustion or sunburn.”
The Crossroads Outreach Team is now working tirelessly to reach and help unsheltered homeless people. They say they’ve been doubling up their efforts to distribute necessary goods like water, sunscreen and snacks to those in need.
“It’s less about handouts and more about getting them the services they need and getting them into housing,” Santilli said.
The team also provides unsheltered homeless people with information on where they can go to get out of the heat, as well as public transportation vouchers to get there.