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Saskatoon homeless working to avoid the heat

Shelters say donations of water would be a big help during the hot days
Reported by Kelly Malone
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The province's extreme heat is making some people run to the beach, the pool, or just hide inside.

For some of the most vulnerable in society those are not options.

"On days like this normally our clients would move out at around eight in the morning, but on days like this we encourage them to stay inside and out of the street," said Salvation Army representative Malba Holliday.

She said that for the city's homeless and those in shelters Saskatchewan's heat can be just as dangerous as its cold.

"We certainly have to ensure that they have water and plenty of fluids ... dehydration is certainly a danger this time of year" Holliday said.

For the people staying in the Lighthouse Supported Living shelters it is often their first time with air conditioning.

Lighthouse representative DeeAnn Mercier said that they are truly appreciative.

"They are really thankful. We actually see them less because they are staying up in their air-conditioned room," she said.

The clients still have to walk to appointments with doctors, social workers, and employers in the heat. Mercier said that can cause a danger.

"We are just trying to keep everyone hydrated," she said.

"We are encouraging our staff to keep an eye on everybody, so that if we notice if anyone is looking like they are having heatstroke or sunstroke we can encourage them to lie down, drink some water, and stay hydrated."

Mercier also encourages people to consider donating water to any of the shelters in the city.

"We can hand them out for people to carry with them ... any of the shelters in town would really appreciate bottled water," she said.

The Lighthouse and the Salvation Army are encouraging anybody in need to stop in and get out of the heat.

kmalone@rawlco.com