Heat wave response: Philly’s quadrupling homeless outreach for Code Red
The “feels like” temp could hit 113 degrees.
The incoming heat wave had only started to tease Philadelphia on Thursday morning, but the 85-degree thermometer reading was already paired with an uncomfortable dose of humidity.
In Logan Square, Carrie Wagner and Owen Riordan were working their way around the park.
Not everyone accepted the bottles of water they offered, but most did. Fewer took them up on the suggestion to come back with them to a shelter, where air conditioning would provide a respite from the sweltering air.
With the mercury forecast to reach the high 90s, bringing “feels like” temps up to 113 degrees, the National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the region, and the city extended a heat health emergency through Monday evening.
For Philly’s homeless population, that means a Code Red is in effect — and outreach workers are scrambling to get them inside.
On regular weekends, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and the Office of Homeless Services typically deploy one or two groups of workers. But this weekend, they’re sending out four team, all-in-all quadrupling the number of people on the street.