Local organization launches water program for the homeless

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – When the weather is as hot as we’ve seen recently, having access to fresh water is even more important, and if you’re homeless it can be even harder to find.

July is Hydration Awareness Month, which aims to make sure people know where free water is available and to expand those locations.

An organization is doing its part to help those who don’t have easy access to water. The Alliance of Overlooked Neighbors is encouraging businesses, primarily in downtown Wichita, to install coolers so the homeless population can have cold water close at hand.

“What we’re trying to do is we asked locations around Wichita to be free watering holes, so we either recruited locations or identified existing locations,” said Olivia Sailors, coordinator of the Alliance of Overlooked Individuals.

Research has shown that locally, members of the homeless community are forced to walk three to four blocks to find water or public toilets.

“People without homes are 200 times more likely to die from heat-related emergencies, so keeping them hydrated is super important in Wichita and beyond, so the more we can expand access to water, the more our community will be safe,” the sailors said.

Sailors say there are currently 25 places where free water is available, and they hope that number will increase.

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