LAWTON, Okla._With temperatures hitting triple digits, one local nonprofit is beginning to see an increase in people coming in for help.
The Salvation Army says there is always a spike in June and July, and it usually carries over into the month of August. They expect this year to be no different, so they are collecting fans, food and clothes to help meet the need.
Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and from there they offer showers and even an overnight place to stay. Captain Israel Roseno says the overnight stay isn't as big of a commodity in the summer as it is in the winter, but the need for fans and summer clothing definitely is.
Roseno says most people who stop in and ask for clothes are switching them out for summer clothes. So far, between June and July, the Lawton Salvation Army has helped 140 people make the necessary switch. Roseno says a lot of people also go during the summer to take a shower or just eat a meal.
"Those things for the normal individuals, it may make no difference because it doesn't affect you, but for the individuals receiving the help it means the world to them," Roseno said.
This summer has been relatively cool up to this point. But with forecasts showing upper 90s and lower 100s, Roseno says he anticipates next month to bring quite the rush of people seeking help. And he knows this isn't by choice.
"I don't think they come in here because they like it. I think they come here because there is a need and they know that the Salvation Army is here to help them in the best of our capacity and the best of our ability," Roseno said.
Like many nonprofit organizations, the Salvation Army is accepting donations to help the community. They are asking for food, summer clothes, box fans and any other item they believe would be helpful.