Homeless populations struggle as heatwave hits the mid-state

Posted at 8:46 PM, May 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-26 21:47:00-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For four days in a row, Nashville's temperatures either tied or came close to record highs. The May heatwave sent many people searching for ways to keep cool, but hit the area's homeless population especially hard.

"It's been very, very rough," Howard Allen said. Allen currently has a place to stay, but said he has struggled with homelessness in the past. "People think that the wintertime is the hardest time for people who are homeless...but the spring and summer, when you have record heatwaves coming, it's very, very, very dangerous, and it's the toughest time for a homeless person."

Allen is no stranger to the summer heat, but he says this year feels different. He's not used to seeing these kinds of temperatures this early in the year.

"No, not this early,"Allen said.

The heatwave feels early for groups that serve the homeless too. The Nashville Rescue Mission has already taken to Facebook to make a plea for more donations of bottles of water. Other groups told me they worry about having to go through water supplies so early in the summer. So now Allen is hoping people's generosity will rise with the quickly climbing temperatures.

"We'd be very grateful, and for those who don't say thank you, I say thank you now. Because this is a lifesaver," Allen said, showing a water bottle.

For information on how to help, you can visit the Nashville Rescue Mission website.