Extreme heat warnings are in effect for the next few days and that means it is very busy at Omaha’s Open Door Mission. CEO Candace Gregory says they are doing their best to help the homeless keep cool and hydrated.
Gregory says, “We are at overflow status and so all of our beds are filled and we have people sleeping on the floor. We also are doing our Streets of Omaha program and our Water Patrol program and giving out water to people who are in states of dehydration and the complications that come with the heat.”
The water patrol makes the rounds and gives out bottled water to those without a fresh water source. They are going through about 2,000 bottles of water a day. Gregory says many of the homeless live along the Missouri River and they don’t want them to resort to using that water to drink. She says many of the homeless are suffering with mental health issues or have addiction problems and they do drink unsafe water and end up in their clinic.
Gregory says they are also treating a number of the homeless for other heat related illness such as diabetes, headaches and even very severe sunburn.
The Street Patrol is also seeking out those in need by driving around the metro area and focusing on where the homeless congregate. She says they are also doing wellness checks if they receive a phone call from a citizen worried about someone they see on the street.
The Open Door Mission is in need of bottled water to continue these important programs. Those wanting more information are asked to log on to opendoormission.org.