"We have no escape": Arizona's homeless in tears over unbearable heat
Dangerously hot conditions once again took over most of Arizona on Wednesday, with temperatures from 41 to 44 Celsius, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
The heat wave has physically and mentally impacted the unhoused community, who venture out each day to look for water and shade. Terry Price, who became homeless 16 months ago, cried while sharing her experience living on the streets during extreme weather conditions. “When you wake up in the morning and you're like, ‘what do I do today?’ And then you think, ‘well, it's hot. What can I do?’ You need food,” Price told Reuters.
Price says she is exhausted and fantasizes about being able to sit down in somebody's yard to use the water hose.
Janné Croll is a Physician Assistant with Circle the City’s street medical team. On Wednesday, she made her usual rounds to local parks in Chandler. The first thing she did was offer water and information about the symptoms related to heat exposure.
“You know, we see people who are really struggling with the heat and that's in the morning when it's not even 43 or 46 Celsius out and it's so dangerous. And we know that even with education, we're going to lose people every year because the heat just, it comes upon you so quickly that you don't even know what's happening and then it's too late," Croll said.
For Brian Brewer, homeless for four years, the Arizona heat is like an oven that never turns off. “So imagine if that air conditioner never came on, right? You're just in the heat all the time,” Brewer explained.
He was given electrolyte packets by Circle the City's street medicine team, which he quickly added to water to hydrate himself.
“When these folks come out here and they give us some medical assistance and, you know, they, you know, cold water, you know, just whatever we need, things like that from day to day, basic stuff that, you know, we need. It's really important,” Brewer said.