Shelter official: Offer haven to homeless, not food, during heat wave

Published 3:19 pm Friday, July 20, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A leader at a New Orleans homeless shelter says people and groups who feed the homeless at encampments that develop along city streets and under bridges and overpasses may be doing more harm than good — at least during the current heat wave.

David Bottner, the CEO of the New Orleans Mission, says feeding people on the street encourages them to stay on the street, rather than seek shelter during extreme weather.

Bottner is asking people and organizations that feed groups of homeless people to coordinate with the various homeless shelters in the city to encourage the vulnerable to get out of the heat.

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Heat index readings Friday in the New Orleans area were expected to reach about 110 degrees Fahrenheit.