LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – With the above-normal heat for a Texas summer, East Texas shelters like Hiway 80 Rescue Mission are seeing more people coming in to cool off. The blazing temperatures can cause health risks such as dehydration, sunburn and heat exhaustion.

“Between our women’s and men’s shelter and our facility in Tyler- Gateway to Hope, we were just shy of 200 folks last night in a shelter. Normally, we are around 150 or so there has been an uptick in people seeking shelter due to this heat wave we’ve experienced,” said Brian Livingston, Executive Director of Hiway 80 Rescue Mission.

The heat can affect sleep, especially for those living on the street. Hiway 80 says they have already gone through hundreds of cases of water to help hydrate those in need.

“Water donations would be a huge thing. We are also trying to be in a position to provide sunscreen and things like that for folks,” said Livingston. Water donations are always appreciated at drop-off locations at all Hiway 80 Rescue locations and at The Salvation Army. Any fans or cooling units are also a serious need.

“I have had a heat condition before where I tried to work out in the heat and collapsed from it. It’s not fun and your body will actually shut down,” said Salvation Army, Captain Tamara Robb.

Anytime the heat index is more than 100 degrees, missions like The Salvation Army open up their cooling stations for those seeking shade.

“They can come in and we have tables and chairs where they can stay cool and we will have bottled water for them. We will provide lunch and it’ll be between 10 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.,” said Robb.

With or without the heat, these organizations say donations and your help is always accepted.  

For Donation Drop-offs:

The groups said they especially need Water/ AC units/ Fans

People may donate at the following locations:

Hiway 80 Rescue Mission: Longview Men’s Shelter: 3117 W Marshall Avenue Longview, TX 75604 or at the Administrative Office.

Tyler- Hiway 80 Drop-Off at Gateway to Hope: 601 E Valentine St. Tyler, TX 75702

The Salvation Army in Longview: 519 E Cotton St. Longview, TX 75601