Oklahoma Heat Taking Toll on Homeless

Jul 6, 2016

The increase in heat is raising concerns among advocates for the homeless population.

Homeless Alliance Executive Director Dan Staughan says to avoid heat exposure and heat stroke unsheltered individuals are finding relief where ever they can.

"Our numbers, for example, in our day shelter are way up, over 300 a day, because people can come in and be cool and get a shower and that sort of stuff. The numbers at the other shelters are the same."

Straughan says the shelters are working hard to provide bottled water and educate the homeless on the dangers of heat exposure.

He says besides the near triple digit highs, the homeless also need to watch out for the increase in insects.

"As it happens this year appears to be a really bad year for ticks. Insect bites for this population can be a huge issue."

He says situations can escalate as night time temperatures stay in the 80s and aren’t providing enough of a respite from the daytime heat. With night time lows providing little relief, overnight shelters are also seeing an increase in residents.