Heat wave hits the most vulnerable in Arizona

Heatwave once again grips most of Arizona, with temperatures ranging from 41° to 44° degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Heat wave hits the most vulnerable in Arizona
People living on the streets, melting in this heat wave. Image: Agencies

The heat wave has physically and mentally impacted the homeless community, which ventures out each day in search of water and shade. Terry Price, who became homeless 16 months ago, wept as he shared his experience of living on the streets during extreme weather conditions.

Terry Price / Homeless person: When you wake up in the morning and you think, 'what do I do today,' and then you think, 'well, it's hot. what can I do?' You need food."  Price says she is exhausted and fantasizes about being able to sit in someone's yard to use the water hose.

Homeless people suffering from the heat wave

Janné Croll is a medical assistant on Circle the City's street medical team. On Wednesday, she made her usual rounds at local Chandler parks. The first thing she did was offer water and information about symptoms related to heat exposure.

You know, we see people who are struggling with the heat wave and that's in the morning when it's not even 44° or 46° and it's very dangerous. And we know that even with education, we're going to lose people every year because the heat wave hits you so fast you don't even know what's happening, and then it's too late." said Janné Croll, physician assistant.

For Brian Brewer, homeless for four years, the Arizona heat is like a furnace that never goes out. "So imagine if that air conditioner never came on, right? You're in the heat all the time," Brewer explained.

Circle the City's street medicine team gave her electrolyte packets, which she quickly added to her water to hydrate. "When these people come out here and give us medical assistance and, you know, cold water, you know, everything we need, day-to-day stuff like that, basic things that, you know, we need. It's really important," Brewer said.