WF Faith Mission offers relief from the heat


WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - It is starting to heat up here in Texoma. We have already seen triple digit temps in some parts of our area, and it is not even summer yet.

That has more people turning to shelters like Wichita Falls Faith Mission to find some relief from this brutal heat.

Experts say once temps get around 104 degrees, it could lead to severe health risk like heatstroke. Bill Standridge knows all too well that is not something to take lightly.

"I almost had two heat strokes," he said. "I came back and I was huffing and puffing, so I don't know. I got dizzy."

After going to the hospital, Standridge found out he had heat exhaustion.

"Any heat is dangerous," he said. "But you know, since I'm getting up in the age there, and you know my exhaustion, I think it's what caused it."

It is a close call that serves as a good reminder of how these high temps can be a threat.

"The summers can be more dangerous than the winters around here," said Steve Sparks, Faith Mission CEO.

He said his organization tries to help by offering water and a place to escape the sun.

"We try to do everything we can to keep our clients, and even those who aren't our clients but just come in and need our services, we try to keep them cool and hydrated," Sparks said.

They also open up the shelter's day room during the day so those who need to can cool off.

"There's probably anywhere from 40 to 50 men in there any given time," said Sparks.

He adds this is a busy time of year for them.

"Even though our bed count might not be higher, our service count is definitely higher, because people are coming in trying to get out of the heat," he said.

Standridge said he is grateful for this option, and those who work at Faith Mission are glad to offer their support.

"They're our neighbors," Sparks said. "And sometimes they're invisible, but they're still our neighbors."

People who want to help can donate bottled waters to the shelter. Sparks said that way those who need them can refill the bottles to take on the go.

Donating fans is another way to help those who are moving out of the shelter into their own homes. Last year Faith Mission gave away around 250 fans.

Faith Mission is located at 1300 Travis Street in Wichita Falls.

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