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Philadelphia nonprofit reaches out to vulnerable communities in Kensington amid dangerous heat wave

Project HOME provides relief to people experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia during heat wave
Project HOME provides relief to people experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia during heat wave 02:02

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - As the dangerous heat wave continues to bear down on the Philadelphia region, people with nowhere to go are particularly vulnerable to the elements.

"It's too hot," Monique Taylor, with the nonprofit Project HOME, said. "We ride around. We have a cooler full of water, ice. Sometimes we'll have rags we dip it in the ice water and we give it to them." 

Taylor and her teammate Sam Santiago are special initiative workers with Project HOME. Throughout the week they reach out to hundreds of people living on the streets of Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, including many who are battling addiction.

"Once you open the trunk giving out water, everybody comes over because everybody wants some water. They appreciate a cold bottle," Santiago said. 

Philadelphia public health officials have declared a heat health emergency and code red for the city with dangerous hot temperatures expected to persist into the weekend.

"With a code red, the difference is the heat index is so high for a certain amount of days you just got to make sure people get hydrated and they get in the shade, especially with the opioids down here in the drug mix," Santiago said. 

The duo's mission this week is to make sure people stay hydrated and out of the sun. 

They say drug abuse makes those battling addiction even more vulnerable in the sweltering temperatures.

READ MORE: Important reminders to help keep your cool in the sizzling weather

"You know it takes such a toll on them physically. … This sedative and this heat, they don't have the ability to be awoke or move so sometimes they are stuck in the sun," Taylor said. 

Whether it's a cold bottle of water or a friendly hug, both Taylor and Santiago hope a simple act of kindness will help transform lives.

"That's why we're here. We're here to bring the service to them," Taylor said. "That's why it's outreach. We have to be out to reach them."

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