Emerson Williams, a member of New Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, left, hands out a bottle of hand sanitizer and reusable face masks to a resident, Monday, March 1, 2021, at a Jackson, Miss., water distribution site on the church's parking lot. Non-potable water as well as bottled water was provided for area residents and was being distributed at seven sites in Mississippi's capital city — more than 10 days after winter storms wreaked havoc on the city's water system because the system is still struggling to maintain consistent water pressure, authorities said. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Bottled water wanted in Vernon ahead of heat wave

Vernon outreach programs seek donations for those experiencing homelessness, living rough

Donations of water and Gatorade are wanted ahead of a record-breaking heat event that is expected to last days and may increase the risk of heat-related illnesses.

A warning has been issued as Environment Canada is calling for highs of 35-40 C and there’s not much reprieve as evening lows are still in the 20s.

For individuals experiencing homelessness or living rough in Vernon, this may be an especially hard time, said Alison Houweling, manager of education and community programs with Turning Points Collaborative Society (TPCS).

TPCS staff are working quickly to coordinate with all of its social service agencies to ensure people have water, Houweling said.

Water and Gatorade can be donated at the Upper Room Mission (250-549-1231) and Cammy LaFleur Outreach Clinic (250-938-3518).

“My suggestion to people who want to help is to donate to outreach services or bring cold water and Gatorade to the park — being mindful of COVID precautions,” she said.

The Cammy LaFleur Clinic will also act as a cool-down and water station Monday-Friday between 1 and 3 p.m.

“We’re still maintaining COVID-19 precautions so if we do get overloaded, people can sit in the courtyard,” she said, noting there is a sprinkler and gazebo.

Showers are available Tuesday and Thursday 9-11 a.m. at the clinic and lunches, including extra water, are distributed through Outreach Fridays between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

“We are also doing outreach alternating between Friday and Saturday evenings in downtown Vernon and Polson Park,” she said, between 6:30-10 p.m. “We will be handing out cold drinks, snacks and supplies for people.”

Houweling said it’s important to stay hydrated and seek shady spots and anyone feeling symptoms of heatstroke should seek medical attention.

The Cammy LaFleur Clinic is open Monday to Friday, 1-3 p.m. and the Vernon Urgent and Primary Care Centre is open seven days a week.

READ MORE: Dangerous heat wave warning issued for B.C. Interior

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