CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) — As temperatures soar this week, nonprofits and community organizations continue to support the homeless community.
More than 3,000 people are homeless in Mecklenburg County.
Adrienne and Emmanuel Threatt are the founders of Hope Vibes, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping marginalized communities.
“The advantage that most citizens of Charlotte enjoy is a place of respite from the excruciatingly high temperatures. Our homeless neighbors often don’t have that privilege. They are more likely to be impacted both physically and mentally due to extreme temperatures,” The Threatts said. “Dehydration alone can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, low blood pressure, extreme fatigue, and more. survival mode and trying to figure out the next steps day by day, with those added challenges.
No matter the season or the weather, organizations here in Charlotte and across Mecklenburg County are opening their doors and hitting the pavement to deliver items to people to beat the heat.
“The core service of staying as cool as possible has become critically important,” said Randall Hitt, vice president of engagement at Roof Above.
Related: Mecklenburg County cooling stations open due to record heat
Roof Above operates a day service center Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
The center is located at 945 N. College Street Charlotte, NC 28206.
Roof Above provides outdoor and indoor cooling areas with fans and air conditioning, fresh cold water, lunches, showers and laundry services.
Laundry and showers are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
“We have more than 40 showers a day. We do 21 loads of laundry, we provide lunch for 200-300 people a day which includes a bottle of water. We go through 70 cases of water a week, some people are just sitting inside because we reintroduced seating even after COVID,” Hitt said.
There are still thousands of homeless people in encampments across the county.
Bethany McDonald is the executive director of the Hearts Beat as One Foundation. She says just because people and tents are out of sight doesn’t mean they aren’t out of mind.
“It’s really important that we find where the people are and that we get the ice and the resources and things like that.”
She’s not alone, Jessica Lefkowitz with Hearts for the Invisible Charlotte Coalition works 8-plus-hour shifts to deliver articles and information about cooling centers to encampments in Mecklenburg County.
“We’ll be out of the water, I’ve got food, sleeping bags, just trying to get people basics and info on where they can go if they can’t handle the heat where they are”, Lefkowitz.
Several encampments have been removed from private ownership over the past year, forcing many people to relocate to less visible areas.
“They’re so spread out and they’re so far away, so it’s hours and hours of driving across town to make sure they have ice cream, snacks, ice cream. water and things that will help them get through this brutal heat,” McDonald said.
Hearts Beat as One also collects batteries, battery-powered fans, water, and non-perishable food. They are also continuing street outreach this week.
“We’re here just to make sure they survive this weather,” McDonald said.
If you would like to donate items to Hearts Beat as One, you can drop them off at their building located at 3520 Dewitt Lane Charlotte, NC 28217. They are open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Roof Above also raises awareness in the camps.
“We’re going to make sure we go there by bringing water, bags of snacks, checking them, because we know for people there it might be in a tent or under a tree, it’s It’s a very different item than if you’re in a shelter or day care center,” Hitt said.
Roof Above collects bottled water, reusable bottles, towels, washcloths and laundry detergent. You can donate to the Day Service Center located at 945 N. College Street in Charlotte or visit their website.
Hope Vibes continues to operate its mobile “Hope Tank”.
“Hope Vibes continues to provide moments of retreat through the Hope Tank which has air-conditioned units. We also provide seasonal supplies to help support our neighbors. In addition to our year-round items, we collect and distribute coolers, water, cold towels, sunscreen and insect repellent as available,” said The Threatts.
If you would like to donate to Hope Vibes, click here.
Hearts for the Invisible Charlotte Coalition also collects bottled water, ice, sleeping bags, tarps and battery-powered fans.
“It’s important that you have people like our organization who will go to these encampments on the outskirts of town to provide whatever services we can and direct them to services,” Lefkowitz said.
You can visit their website or also deliver items to their office at 8460 University City Blvd Suite A3-113 Charlotte, NC 28213
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