WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF)
The homeless population is particularly vulnerable to heat stress because the temperature is high, the power is off and the storm has literally blown away their their only place to live.
The same storm that knocked the power out also knocked their tents out.
“The storm took out all the camps,” said Lynn Kettler of Street MOMs. “Every camp was taken out by the storm.”
And many of the homeless individuals have serious health problems.
“We have people with breathing problems,” said Kettler. “We have people with heart conditions. We have people in wheelchairs and there’s no place to charge them.”
Street MOMs always needs donations of items like bottled water.
“Any kind of drinks right now but especially tarps, tents and sleeping bags right now because everything was wiped out with that storm,” Kettler said.
Project HOPE was out distributing cooling towels, sunscreen and insect repellent bracelets.
The Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling, in its second day without power, did their cooking outside on grills.
“We’re having a cookout,” said Executive Director Becky Shilling Rodocker. “And if the power is not back on tomorrow, we’ll probably have a cookout again. And anybody can stop by. Even utility workers, people who are out and about and need food.”
Extreme heat and a power outage are the worst conditions for the homeless.
“Oh it’s horrible,” Shilling Rodocker said. “It’s worse than the worst snowstorm. In the summertime, it’s impossible to escape the heat when no one has electricity.”
If you’d like to donate to Street MOMs, you can reach out to them on Facebook or call (304) 281-9967.
They will come to you, and pick up any donations.