Groups Focus On Most Vulnerable During Extreme Heat

Posted at 9:10 PM, Jul 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 23:13:01-04

The extreme heat is just as concerning as frigid temperatures during the winter for organizations and city officials.

The Homeless Impact Division in Nashville just started a Facebook page called 'Extreme Weather Nashville' to help provide needed information related to the summer heat.

"What we try to do is to really ensure people have the information they need," Director Judith Tackett said. 

The page lists out designated areas for the homeless community to visit and cool off. Among the places are Coleman Community Center, East Park Community Center, Hadley Community Center, Hartman Community Center, Madison Community Center, McCabe Community Center, Sevier Community Center
and Southeast Community Center.

It is also provides heat advisories and assistance provided by other organizations in the city.

"People who are outdoors are extremely vulnerable, and that's why we need to focus on creating a system to get them indoors and into housing as quickly as possible," Tackett added.

Tackett said she planned on meeting with several organizations with a homeless outreach community to determine what is needed to improve how they serve the homeless.

Emergency officials are on standby, but currently, groups are already gather and offering water bottles during the extreme heat. 

The Metro Action Committee is also reminding folks of its summer program to provide free air conditioning units and fans to families with a certain income, senior citizens and the disabled. It also helps households with children under the age of 6 years old with severe medical condition.

"They're the ones impacted the most in temperatures like this," MAC Spokesperson Lisa McCrady said. "We went into a home of someone we were taking an air conditioner to. She was an elderly lady and she was afraid to raise her window up for security reasons, and so she sat in sweltering heat and I know it took my breath away when I walked in."

The committee has had a steady yet busy flow of application requests. People who are qualified can apply between May and the end of August.

Supply is a concern as McCrady expects more applicants due to the unbearable heat. 

The program is supported partially from donations and monetary contributions. 

"About maybe seven years ago where we handed out an excess of 200 air conditioner units. That's when temperatures were like this over a sustained period of time," McCrady recalled.

MAC also assistants through a program to help pay for electricity, natural gas or other home energy bill. To learn more, click on this link