This is how Fresno helps its homeless – especially in triple-digit heat

Local News

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Fresno summer temperatures are here and local nonprofits, along with the city of Fresno, are doing all they can to keep those in need safe from dangerous heat conditions.

“You know, it’s just a hard topic because obviously the homeless are important and they live out in the elements 24 hours a day,” said the City of Fresno’s Sontaya Rose.

The city implemented different programs and considers the homelessness issue a priority.

“We try to offer options that are good for them and right now we can offer them a cool bus if they’d like to go somewhere, and we can also offer them Project Off Ramp which hundreds have taken advantage of so far,” said Rose.

Fresno’s Project Off-Ramp helps get the homeless people off the streets and into proper housing.  Additionally, nonprofits like the Poverello House make daily checks on individuals who could be at risk.

“The outreach team is also out there checking on people every single day, seven days a week to make sure that those on the street…no one is suffering from heat stroke, or any type of heat induced illness or anything worse like that,” said Zack Darrah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Poverello House.

The Fresno Mission’s CEO says the searing heat can have an unintended positive impact on those experiencing homelessness.

“So, we do appreciate that when the weather starts turning bad,” said Matthew Dildine, the CEO of the Fresno Mission. “The heat causes people to say I don’t want this life anymore. I don’t want to live when it’s 110 on the street and so, we see increased demand for our life transformation services.”

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