The Pacific Northwest’s Heat Waves Endanger Unhoused People

Volunteers in Oregon rushed to distribute water, fans, and information about cooling shelters to people experiencing homelessness as temperatures reached 103 degrees Fahrenheit last week. According to Kim James, director of homeless and housing support for Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, people experiencing homelessness can be reluctant to go to cooling shelters, so relief efforts are especially important. Oregon governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency, and city and county governments extended public library hours and waived bus fares for those headed to cooling centers.

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