Downtown Rescue Mission increases help during week of extreme heat

WAFF 48's D'Quan Lee reporting
Published: Aug. 26, 2023 at 10:44 PM CDT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Saturday evening capped off almost a week’s worth of sweltering heat in the Tennessee Valley.

The triple-digit temperatures made for dangerous conditions across the Valley, and brought those in need, to shelters like the Downtown Rescue Mission.

“We do give our guard shack workers water bottles to pass out to people that are in need of thirst because we don’t want anybody to have heat stroke or have any kind of issues from the elements that could be a risk to their health,” said Loewen Beasley, with the Downtown Rescue Mission.

He says he’s seen hundreds of people in the shelter all week long, which is more than normal.

“This year especially with how high the heat has been typically in the summer months our numbers are a little lower but our numbers have actually been as high as what are winter numbers run.”

Beasley also says they usually see a little more than a hundred people during the summer.

This week, they’ve seen more than double that number, matching the number of people they care for during the cold winter. But the high foot traffic never catches them off-guard. They’re always ready to help whoever is in need.

“We do have limited space in the dorm rooms that we use but we have available spaces elsewhere that we would put for overflow. We’ve always made sure that we have enough blankets, bed sheets, and mats for when our numbers do get really really high.”

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