WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — When the temperature is as hot as we have seen lately, having access to fresh water is even more important, and if you are homeless, it can be even harder to find.

July is Hydration Awareness Month, which has the goal of making sure people know where free water is available and expanding those locations.

One organization is doing its part to help those who do not have easy access to water. The Alliance of Overlooked Neighbors is encouraging businesses, mainly in downtown Wichita, to put out coolers so the homeless population can have cold water readily available.

“What we’re trying to do is, we’ve asked locations around Wichita to be free water locations, so we’ve either recruited locations or identified existing locations,” said Olivia Sailors, Coordinator for the Alliance of Overlooked Individuals.

Research has shown that locally, members of the homeless community are forced to walk three to four blocks to find water or a public restroom.

“Unhoused individuals are 200 times more likely to die from heat-related emergencies, so they need to be hydrated is super important in Wichita and beyond, so the more that we can expand access to water, the safer our community is going to be,” said Sailors.

Sailors says that there are currently 25 locations where free water is available, and they hope for that number to increase.