Elderly, Homeless Get Help With Heat

As summer temperatures set in, FrontSteps, a homeless assistance program, and Family Eldercare, an elderly assistance program, are running projects to help protect the elderly and the homeless from the extreme heat.

FrontSteps is distributing 76,000 bottles of water to the homeless as they take shelter at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless. Mitchell Gibbs, director of development and communications at Front Steps, says the homeless need the help.

“It’s going to be a nice package to be able to hydrate folks, because we do often see, as things get warmer in this community, signs of heat stroke, signs of heat exhaustion, and just general ill health due to the hot weather,” Gibbs said.

FrontSteps will begin handing the water out this Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Family Eldercare is planning a different method of cooling for the elderly in their 2012 Summer Fan Drive. In addition to the more than 7,000 fans and 100 air conditioners delivered, the organization’s  Autumn Keiser is pushing for more active forms of help.

“It is incredibly important for neighbors to be looking out for each other,” said Keiser, the , the organization’s director of communications and development. “If you know that there is an older adult, or a person with disabilities in your neighborhood that is alone most of the time, taking a few minutes to go knock on their door and just check, make sure they’re doing OK.”

Family Eldercare’s Fan Fare Friday is scheduled for June 22 at Threadgill’s World Headquarters from 6 a.m. to midnight, with live music for people donating air conditioners, fans and funds.