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Help a homeless youngster without getting out of your car

The Phoenix Fire Department is asking citizens to donate water this summer for the homeless population. (Photo by Eddie Keller/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX — The Arizona heat spares no one.

With triple digit temperatures not going away, most people here try to spend as much time as possible inside, where there’s air conditioning, but for those who are homeless, it’s a different story. The heat can be unbearable and dangerous.

Ken Lynch with Tumbleweed, a center for homeless and runaways teens, said it would be great if people would hand out water in this weather to young people who are living outdoors. He suggested buying a flat of water bottles, freezing them so they stay cold and keeping the water in their vehicles. Then, he said, people can hand out the bottles right from their cars.

“If you can find it in your heart to carry cold water with you in water bottles and just distribute them, it’s a small thing, but it makes a very big difference to people who are really suffering,” said Lynch.

He said young people who are homeless are a different population from adults in that situation. He said homeless teens have a lot of resilience, a lot of hope and a lot of strength. They have just been dealt, he said, a really bad hand.

“Something as simple as a water bottle on a hot day really shows them that, yes, there are people in the world who will help you and who do care a little bit,” said Lynch.

Lynch said throwing in a few bottles of Gatorade and some granola bars would also be nice. He suggested that social media would be a good way to spread this idea around.

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