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Volunteers distribute supplies to homeless to help them cope with heat

Water, hygiene kits, and cooling towels are among the supplies volunteers are handing out.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Out of work since mid-March, Brianna Bonham should be looking for assistance for herself, but instead, she is offering it.

"Mutual aid and helping each other is so important," said Bonham.

With temperatures expected to reach triple digits this weekend, Bonham is gathering supplies to distribute to Portland's houseless community.

"I think sometimes it's so easy for people to walk past them and ignore them," she said. "They're human beings, our neighbors, citizens of Portland."

Pastor Mike Whipple is among the volunteers joining Bonham on this mission to help the houseless beat the heat.

"This is critical," said Whipple. "Critical to me, my heart, my faith, my ministry, my God, and the city I love the most - Portland."

Credit: Mike Benner, KGW staff
Volunteers gather supplies for the homeless.

Water, hygiene kits, and cooling towels are just some of the supplies volunteers will be handing out this weekend. It is made possible by the Joint Office of Homeless Services.

"What we've heard is folks are grateful the supplies are coming to them," said Denis Theriault. "I think it's never ideal to be camping anywhere at any time of the year. Folks would prefer a place to be that's not a campsite or somewhere else."

But the reality of the situation is many people find themselves living on the streets. It is a tough task made even tougher when the weather heats up.

"I don't mind the heat," said Bonham. "I don't mind being out here during the day helping people."

Fortunately, there are people like Bonham and others helping some of Portland's most vulnerable.

"It's important people get on the ground and make connections with people," said Bonham. "We keep each other safe."