Rising temperatures put people who are in the street all day at risk — unless they can get water, says a director at The Mustard Seed.
The hotter-than-average July, with temperatures soaring into the high 20s and low 30s, brings serious risks of dehydration to the homeless population — which has prompted The Mustard Seed to give out more bottled water to its clients and other vulnerable Red Deerians.
The non-profit is now seeking the public’s help in restocking its bottled water supply.
Laura Giesbrecht, senior director of food services at the non-profit shelter, said there’s a greater than usual demand for the bottled water that the shelter gives out to clients and other people who may be “sleeping rough” because of the drastic heat.
As a result, The Mustard Seed’s bottled water stores running low at the same time as the non-profit’s food budget is getting strained.
Giesbrecht explained that the non-profit has already seen more clientele for its Monday, Wednesday and Friday meal program. An all-time high of 193 people dropped in for a meal on one day earlier this month, compared to the 125-150 people, who had previously been expected, she added.
The Mustard Seed is open 24/7, but its 46 overnight shelter spots are usually full. “We often have to turn people away,” said Giesbrecht, who knows people who sleep outdoors during the summer usually have no access to tap water.
Plastic refillable water bottles are not commonly carried by people who have to carry all of their belongings, she added.
Anyone wanting to donate bottled water to relieve possible dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke in vulnerable Red Deerians can make a drop off at The Mustard Seed, or can alternatively make a cash donation for bottled water purchases.