Local shelters extend hours to keep homeless out of the heat

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Ronald Watlington lives homeless in Greensboro, and getting around isn’t easy with knee problems and the blistering heat.

“Once I get hot it gets to the point where I can’t get up,” Watlington said.

And on top of that, he has narcolepsy, which can be especially dangerous in the heat.

“The narcolepsy is kind of scary because I don’t get sleepy, I just go to sleep,” he said.

But Watlington doesn’t have to face the brunt of 90 degree weather this weekend, thanks to the International Resource Center in Greensboro.

“Just the comfort of being able to come in here off the streets, and providing a safe atmosphere for them,” said IRC’s Carlos White.

With weather this hot, White and the IRC open doors until 5 o’clock, instead of closing at 2. They also give out water for folks in the shelter.

“To come here and get greeted at the door or on the exit and saying hey, take this water with you, stay hydrated,” White said. “It’s like you get treated like a human.”

Watlington calls water a simple necessity, but a blessing.

“Amazing that the amount of people that would be in dire straights without a place like this,” Watlington said.

IRC isn’t the only shelter in our area helping people stay cool.

Allied Churches of Alamance County are opening their doors all day long to make sure folks are fed, they have a cool place to stay and they have plenty of water.

“We are always all about our community and helping our most vulnerable neighbors,” said ACAC Executive Director Kim Crawford.

Crawford says many of the folks coming in have chronic health issues, making their work to keep them fed, hydrated and cool all the more important.

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