A helping hand for Ardmore's homeless - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

A helping hand for Ardmore's homeless

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Homelessness is a growing problem in Ardmore. (KTEN) Homelessness is a growing problem in Ardmore. (KTEN)

ARDMORE, Okla. -- The homeless numbers in Ardmore seem to be on the rise.

Karlie Harper works at the Grace Center of Southern Oklahoma. She said she sees as many as 35 homeless people per day.

"I do think it's worse than what people realize," Harper said. "Our homeless community is not always visible, so we don't always see them, but it is something that needs to be talked about."

As the summer starts to heat up, the rise in the city's homeless population couldn't have come at a worse time. It's more likely for them to fall victim to a heat-related illness.

"They tend to wear long sleeves and pants to avoid getting sunburned, which leaves them more susceptible to dehydration or heat exhaustion," Harper said.

To help these people survive the warm summer months, the Grace Center and the Salvation Army are working to keep the homeless population cool and comfortable.

"We like to give out water bottles if we have water bottles in," said Salvation Army spokesman Capt. Alan Grimes. "Otherwise, we do like a water pitcher; we'll have cold cups and stuff they can come and just walk up to the kitchen area."

These two organizations aren't the only ones capable of lending a helping hand in Ardmore; there's something simple you can do, too.

"We do see some of our homeless people on street corners, and having a water bottle to hand out to them can be huge," Harper said.

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