PHOENIX - With temperatures hitting the triple digits, people across Arizona will be running their air conditioners to keep cool.
But for the Valley's homeless community, escaping the heat isn't an option.
One organization, however, is helping the homeless survive the summer.
Every day, the non-profit's employees such as Matt Sager and L.J. Reynolds set out with coolers full of bottled water in search of people needing help.
"There are dozens of people who die every year from the heat," said Sager. "We try to get them to come in out of the heat."
On this day, they come across Beverly Lindquist camped out in the shade at a park in Sunnyslope.
They offer her something cold to drink and nutritious to eat.
"It's wonderful, especially if you're hungry or starving," Lindquist said.
Sager and Reynolds work for PATH, Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness , through Southwest Behavioral Health .
Even though they assist the homeless year-round, their jobs take on added significance in the summer.
"If you think about that walk to your car, how hot and miserable it can be, this is 24/7 for the people we deal with," said PATH Program Director Kenneth Curry.
Curry tells ABC15 that due to the economic downturn, more people need help now more than ever before.
"The face of homelessness is changing," said Curry. "We're running into people who are newly homeless."
The homeless outreach program relies heavily on donations from the community.
Items they need donated include sunscreen, t-shirts, as well as lots and lots of water.
"The majority of people out here are dehydrated," Sager said. "A lot of people are here because they don't want any help but they'll at least take a bottle of water most times."
To make a donation to Southwest Behavioral Health, donations can be dropped off at the front office of Southwest Behavioral Health, 3450 N. Third St. in downtown Phoenix, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Donations can also be dropped off at SBH's Homeless Outreach offices at the Day Resource Center, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, 1125 W. Jackson, Ste. #448, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
It is recommended to call before making any drop-offs to the Day Resource Center.
Monetary donations are also welcomed.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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