Frank Jackson figured people would be hot and thirsty this week.
So Jackson, the programs director of the Tacoma Rescue Mission, and others distributed 900 bottles of water to homeless Tacomans in the past week when temperatures got close to the 90s.
“We’re just worried about how the heat will impact them while they’re out there,” he said.
They’ll be out again Thursday — expected to be the hottest day this week with a high of 91 — and a couple days this weekend.
Jackson has been with the mission for about 14 years, and thinks he’s handed out water for the last five of those. This year, the nonprofit’s new development team helped organize it.
That means that this year, as they handed out water, they also offered those who want to escape the heat rides to the mission at 425 South Tacoma Way.
“Before, it was me just thinking somebody might be thirsty out there,” Jackson said.
Mission helpers handed out water at Wright Park in the Stadium District, near the main library branch downtown, around the Hilltop area and near the Emerald Queen Casino in eastern Tacoma.
The team of about five people, depending on the day, distributed the roughly 900 bottles of water and about 150 sandwiches (both peanut butter and chicken salad) during outings Friday, Saturday and Monday.
Jackson went out Friday and expected to be out again this week.
They were running low on supplies, but got additional cases donated Wednesday.
And they’ll need it.
The Fourth of July weekend is expected to be in the mid- and high 80s.
The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory Wednesday through 9 p.m. Thursday for much of Western Washington, including Pierce County.
The high temperatures mean it’s important to stay hydrated and cool to prevent heat-related illnesses, the agency said.
“It’s not looking to cool down anytime soon,” meteorologist Johnny Burg said. “Temperatures overnight are also going to be very warm.”
It’s also going to stay dry, he warned.
“People need to be careful with fireworks,” Burg said. “Don’t start any fires.”
Metro Parks Tacoma was worried about that too. The agency banned all grilling and fires Wednesday in Point Defiance Park until further notice, to prevent wildfires.
Even when the weather isn’t so hot and dry, that doesn’t necessarily mean Jackson’s work is done.
Come winter, on nights that are about 35 degrees or lower, the team will be handing out warm clothing, coffee, hot chocolate and cookies.
And offering people a ride back to the shelter, if they want to get out of the cold.