The Salvation Army helps those in need 'Beat the Heat'
With temperatures rising in the Tennessee Valley, many are turning to The Salvation Army for relief from the heat.
Temperatures are already soaring this first week of summer and the Salvation Army is making sure the homeless and those in need stay safe in the extreme heat.
With the warm weather we've experienced in the Tennessee Valley, Penny Hall says being homeless here is like living in an oven. Hall lost her job a few months ago, now her family is without a home.
“It's great to get out of that heat because with it being 99 to 100 degrees and coming here [The Salvation Army] cooling off is just refreshing," Hall said.
For those without a home finding shade and staying cool can be hard to do. Which is why the Salvation Army sets up a hydration station and a day center to help them cool down.
Kimberly George with the Salvation Army says it's lower income families who usually suffer from the heat the most.
"As temperatures rise so does the need. The Salvation Army sees that every summer. The hotter it gets the more folks come for assistance," Hall explained.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 2 to 4 cups of water per hour to stay hydrated while exposed to extreme heat.
Penny’s daughter, Bethany Hall says sometimes they have no access to clean drinking water.
"I’ve gotten to where we've been walking trying to go places and I haven't had water for an hour or so and feeling like I’m going to pass out,” Bethany said.
For about 20 years the Salvation Army has held a “Beat The Heat" campaign -- donating fans, water, and money for cooling bills to those in need.
"They have to ask themselves 'do I pay my utility bill or do I have to put food on the table for my children?’ And that is a question I don't think anyone should have to ask themselves in the Tennessee valley. They should be able to do both," George said.
The Salvation Army needs donations to support the “Beat The Heat" campaign.
They’ve already given out 50 fans this season and summer has only just begun.
If you'd like to help with the “Beat The Heat" campaign or are in need of assistance visit their website or visit their Chattanooga location at the organization's location on McCallie Avenue.