Hot weather brings struggles to homeless shelters

The homeless have fewer options to beat the heat

The Union Gospel Mission had several hundred people stop by to beat the heat on June 24, 2017. (KOIN)
The Union Gospel Mission had several hundred people stop by to beat the heat on June 24, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — People across the Portland metro are coping with the heat in a lot of different ways, including going to the mall or taking a dip somewhere.

However, the homeless have fewer options.

The Union Gospel Mission had several hundred people stop by in a matter of about 6 hours Saturday. People stopped by to cool off, grab a bite to eat and enjoy some cold water or juice.

A lot of visitors stayed up to several hours to take advantage of the air conditioning.

The Union Gospel Mission had several hundred people stop by to beat the heat on June 24, 2017. (KOIN)
The Union Gospel Mission had several hundred people stop by to beat the heat on June 24, 2017. (KOIN)

Due to the amount of visitors, the mission ran out of bottled water, which is something they like to send people away with.

Pete Kelley, who works at the mission, said, “We’ve got water here and by the jar, we’ve also got Koolaid and stuff like that, so when they leave we’d like them to have something personal to be able to have.”

Bottled water is an easy way for the homeless to keep themselves hydrated while enduring the heat wave.

The mission wants people to know they can help by donating bottles of water.

The cooling center’s doors are closed for the day, but if you want to donate, they said you can drop off bottled water by their main entrance on 3rd and Burnside between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday.

The mission will be opening their doors again from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday to hand out bottled water during the hottest part of the day.

Temperatures were already in the 90s early Saturday afternoon and later reached 99 degrees. Sunday is expected to be even hotter and reach 100 degrees.