Mount Vernon Charities Reach Out To Homeless In Extreme Heat | Mount Vernon, Washington | Patch
This summer, temperatures in Fairfax County have been hovering in the mid nineties, but when you factor in humidity and heat index weather experts say it can easily feel like triple digits. And the National Weather Service says today could be even hotter, with highs near 100 and heat index values as high as 106 degrees.
In response to rising temperatures, shelters and non-profits are taking extra precautions to help the estimated 1,544 homeless individuals in the county for whom the heat could be potentially dangerous.
Extremely high temperatures can increase the likelihood of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death. Last year, 138 people died in the United States as a result of extreme heat, according to the National Weather Service.
Though Fairfax County officials say fatalities because of excessive heat have yet to be reported this summer, Mount Vernon area charities are not taking any chances.
For the last 14 years, Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks number 758, a lodge along Richmond Highway that is part of a national charitable group, has been offering lunch five days a week to about 25 people who walk into the lodge between noon and one o’clock.
In blazing temperatures the hour-long respite is welcome relief for patrons like 50-year old Anthony Alexander.
Alexander said he usually crashes at a friend’s place during the day, venturing out in the evening or when necessary. Sometimes he buys a frozen blended drink and holds on to the cup, refilling it at area stores that will let him.