Prayer #120: For Raleigh's Homeless Population During the High Heat and the COVID Outbreak
Formerly in Raleigh, before the Coronavirus outbreak, there was a White Flag Respite Program, which is a life-saving program to circulate a list of locations where the homeless can go to get out of the heat. Many of these places were church buildings and community shelters. With the COVID-19 restrictions, the number of locations available to the homeless to escape the near-100-degree temperatures have narrowed considerably. Alice McGee, who has headed up the Church in the Woods ministry to homeless for about 20 years, says that the situation is very serious. Below is taken from a recent e-mail which Alice sent out:
"As street outreach and essential aid workers, working daily in the streets, Church in the Woods has been encountering a large number of unsheltered persons suffering from dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and a lot of asthma---even in those who have never had asthma before. When these individuals are taken into a cool place with drier air, most will get relief. Those who continue to have difficulty are taken to hospitals, but with the virus needing beds, we do not want to overwhelm the health system with more patients. This can be avoided when we have places to do preventative care. Each day now more ambulances are taking these unsheltered ones to the hospital.
"Those having to shelter in cars and tents are in places that heat up to over 120 degrees. This can be a death sentence, especially to children. We helped a man Friday, a diabetic, who had laid in his tent for 7 days so sick with heat that he could not get up to go buy insulin. He is feeling better now but his brain cannot understand or remember what is said to him. Please pray for him and all those suffering.
"Interior air-conditioned space is an essential life-saving need.
"We have volunteers who want to help as soon as we find places to bring the unsheltered. We will provide sandwich lunches, snacks, and a lot of ice water. We also hope to have a tv set showing movies and some other activities as needed. This is to keep people occupied and lessen people's interactions. Hours can vary but the hottest times are in the afternoon."
Pray today for the homeless who are in dire circumstances with the high temperatures and the lack of places to find relief from the heat, due to the closure of churches and other buildings. Pray that locations would open up for the least of these in our city to be able to get out of the intense heat. Pray for God to continue to work through Church in the Woods and other ministries to the homeless.
Prov: 19:17: "Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed."