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Local organizations help homeless with heat relief

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Salvation Army and Crossroads Mission are two of the local organizations in Yuma that help provide shelter, water, and lunch for homeless individuals to help them beat the heat.

With the excessive heat, it can be hard for homeless individuals to find shelter from the heat and stay hydrated throughout the day.

“Last year nationwide we had more heat related deaths than we’ve had in recorded history. I don’t want to repeat that again this year," said Yuma Crossroads Mission CEO Myra Garlit.

According to Politico, Maricopa County reported 645 heat related deaths last year. Almost half of those were homeless people, totaling 290 people. That’s the most documented in Arizona’s largest metropolitan area.

Local faith based organizations in Yuma like The Salvation Army help provide shelter and meals for homeless individuals to help them survive the excessive heat.

“We have a wonderful team of volunteers that come in and make sack lunches. And we do a mobile feeding program, so we’re able to give multiple bottles of water, some drip drop, a sack of lunch which includes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a turkey and cheese sandwich, and a bag of chips. Just things that will keep people cool," said Yuma Salvation Army Corp Officer Lieutenant Johnathan Herzog

Lieutenant Herzog says he has a passion for helping homeless people after The Salvation Army took care of his family when they experienced homelessness growing up.

He also understands some have other issues on top of being homeless and helps connect them to other program.

“This last year we were able to get 14 people to detox, 2 people to our adult rehabilitation centers, and we saw great success with that" said Lieutenant Herzog.

The Salvation Army, along with the Crossroads Mission, are providing in-door cooling centers in Yuma.

They are asking the community for help by volunteering and donating bottled water to their drop-off centers.

"Water is a huge commodity for us right now because of the heat," said Yuma Crossroads Mission CEO Myra Garlit. "If you have anything, I don’t care what it is...ground beef, toilet paper, baby wipes. We need it all, and we’ll use it.”

Community members can also help by donating bottled water and basic needs at their drop off centers.

Article Topic Follows: Community
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Danyelle Burke North

Danyelle Burke North joined the KYMA team in March 2024 as a reporter.

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