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Heat Impacts Twin Cities Homeless

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CBS Minnesota (con't)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –The heat wave is impacting Minnesota’s homeless population. Shelters across the Twin Cities are at full capacity with people looking to cool off.

“We haven’t had so many people here since 2010,” said Daniel Gumnit, CEO of the People Serving People homeless shelter. The PSP shelter caters specifically to families.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

The PSP building has 99 apartments. On an average night, 340 people stay in the building, but on Sunday they had 383. Nearly 250 of them are kids. Gumnit says they’re having a tough time providing for everyone in need.

“We are so over capacity, there is no way we are going to be able to keep up with this,” said Gumnit. “People here are the poorest of the poor; these are people that are in the most desperate situation.”

The Harbor Light shelter in Minneapolis is a shelter where adults 18 and older can come in and cool off.

“I’ve been trying to find places where they won’t chase me off,” said Mary Zullo, a homeless Minneapolis woman.

Zullo spends most her days walking the streets of downtown but the heat has made things unbearable for her.

“We are pretty much full to capacity,” said Dominic Bouza, director of operations for Harbor Light. “All the other shelters are full. So we are basically running out of room in the city.”

Bouza says that the heat is just as much a factor as the cold is in the winter.

At Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, a representative for the hospital says since July 1, they’ve seen 47 people come in with heat-related illnesses.

At North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, only a handful of people have come in with asthma.

At Regions Hospital in St. Paul they’re seeing an average of 5 to 10 patients a day with heat-related symptoms. Regions also reports over the last week a total of 20 people have come in with heat-related symptoms.

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