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How those with no shelter in Des Moines handle heatwaves

DES MOINES, IOWA — People often take the air conditioning and running water for granted on a scorching summer day. But how do people without a place to stay manage the temperatures?

The temperatures got to a dangerous 100 degrees on Saturday and it felt even hotter. Central Iowa Shelter & Services (CISS) in downtown Des Moines told WHO 13 News that they hand out water when they have the supplies, and let people come inside to get a break from the heat.

Dozens of homeless people were sitting out in front of the shelter on sidewalks. Some of them live at the shelter, some of them can’t afford it.

“Everybody tries to stay hydrated out here, but they (the shelter) are out of water, this man right here bought stuff for us to drink,” said Chris Johnson as he took a sip of his lemonade. The man he mentioned is named David Jones.

Jones just checked out of CISS after three months and is back to living on the streets. He said he gets food stamps so that is what he used to purchase beverages for everyone on Saturday. He shared how he stays cool in the summer months.

“I am a machine. I can take the heat,” said Jones. “I go to Gray’s Lake and swim, ride my bicycle around. It’s a heatwave.”

Chris Johnson is a veteran and his rent at CISS is currently paid for by the VA. Since he lives in the shelter, he said he brings out water all the time for his friends outside. Johnson said it’s like one big community with people watching out for each other in the heat.

“I just feel that it is good when somebody like him (Jones) or me or anybody out here goes and gets some water for people to help them,” said Johnson.

Both Johnson and Jones added that random good Samaritans will drop off packs of water sometimes during hot days and that it helps them out tremendously.

Continue Reading at WHO13.com here

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