The homeless can walk into a Houston shelter any time and get food, water and even a place to sleep. But when they’re out on the street and the sun is bearing down on them, homeless advocates say there are not a lot of options for hydrating themselves. Elena Davis is the founder of the nonprofit group I Am Waters.
"Once they’re outside of the shelter system, they don’t have a way to access water. If they try to get to a spigot, typically spigots are on private property. They’re typically not allowed into public places, like a Starbucks or McDonalds to get water to replenish themselves."
Davis’ group plans to pass out about 80-thousand bottle of water to Houston area shelters next Monday. The shelters can distribute them as they please.
"On the bottles are words of inspiration inscribed on them, words such as hope, love, dream, peace, faith. And the concept is, we’re delivering physical and spiritual hydration to America’s homeless, because they don’t have access to clean drinking water."
Scott Arthur is a spokesman for the Star of Hope Mission. He says they the water is a Godsend for people living on the streets.
"There are a number of men and some women who call themselves Vikings. And they’re on the streets no matter what the weather, whether it’s extreme cold or extreme hot. They are determined and bound not to go into a shelter. What they decide to do is just stand fast on the streets, sleep under the bridges, (and) sleep in refrigerator boxes. These are people who probably need the water the most."
Davis started I Am Waters last summer and distributed bottled water to Houston shelters only. This year her foundation is branching out to Austin and Fort Worth.