Homeless outreach teams offering help to Houstonians in need ahead of heat advisory

As Houston prepares for a heat advisory with a heat index spiking above 105, several homeless outreach groups are taking to the streets to help spread the word that dangerously high temperatures are on the way.

RELATED: Saharan dust could bring haze to Houston skies this weekend

To make sure residents experiencing homelessness know about the designated cooling centers, entire teams have been out all day telling them a temporary cool spot will be available and to see if they can help get them permanently off the street before the extreme heat hits.

LIST: Beat the Houston heat this weekend by going to these cooling centers

Many Houstonians who are experiencing homelessness are already showing signs of being drained from the heat even before the dangerously hot temperatures arrive.

"I’m very concerned," says Eric Scott who has been homeless for 20 years. So with the threat of the heat advisory, Scott is trying to find housing.

For the more than 3,000 people who will remain on the street the Star of Hope Homeless Outreach team is packing up their Love In Action vans to give out much-needed items. 

"We’ve got snacks in here. We’ve got a wash rag, which is always very helpful. We’ve got some basic hygiene items," explains Star Of Hope Outreach Case Manager Ray Walker. 

MORE: Staying safe as Houston temperatures climb into the triple digits

Perhaps most importantly in this heat, they’re giving ice-cold water. 

"Today we’re giving out bags of bottled water, maybe two or three or four bottles in each bag to help the street homeless to handle the triple digits that are going to be happening over the weekend," says Scott Arthur Communications Director for Star of Hope. 

MORE: Scorching temperatures raise concern for children left in cars

They are also spreading the word that the city has activated its Heat Emergency Plan, opening cooling centers and calling for those who can seek shelter in air conditioning to do so but many who are homeless will still choose not to go to a shelter. 

"The Love In Action van is always inviting people to come into the Men’s Development Center and the Women and Family Development Center and take advantage of the long-term recovery programs which are really actually life-changing," Arthur adds. 

SOH Outreach Case Manager Ray Walker is not only offering hydration but also hope. 

"Myself, I was in addiction for 23 years of my life," he said. "This year by the grace of God I’ve been free for 20 years. So I have a heart for a lot of these people out here". 

RELATED: Heat waves set records with more hot days ahead for the Houston area

In fact, those who are homeless in other states are hearing about the love and arriving in Houston for help. 

"The word has gotten out around the country that Houston has done a very good job of helping the homeless and getting them off of the street and into housing," adds Walker.

"Traditionally summer is the time when Star of Hope is needed the most, but it’s also the time when historically we have the least amount of financial support," Arthur said. "So we’re asking people to help us help others and make this a summer of hope." 

Everything from financial assistance to volunteering is welcome. If you would like to donate water the Star of Hope accepts that also at two locations, 2420 Lamar and 2575 Reed Road.

MORE: May 2022 gave the Houston area hot temperatures, it may stay that way through June

Water donations can be dropped off to SEARCH Homeless Outreach at 2015 Congress. SEARCH keeps a cold water cart outside its office most of the day.

Hope for Houston is asking you to head to its Facebook page to coordinate donation drop-offs. You can call Reach the Homeless at 832-657-1511 to arrange taking water there.

The owners of Grace Pizza & Shakes in Alvin have collected a couple of thousand bottles of water and will be donating some to an outreach team as well as distributing cold water to the homeless over the weekend.