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The sun was at its peak as the Midnight Mission began lunch service on San Pedro Street in skid row.
Sweat dripped down the backs of the unhoused men and women who waited in line for something to eat — and to drink. The latter was becoming harder to procure as the summer heat settled across Los Angeles, the U.S. city with the largest unhoused population.
For the Midnight Mission, which serves the swelling ranks of homeless people, this has meant a growing need for water donations.
“Water isn’t a privilege; it’s mandatory,” said Georgia Berkovich, director of public affairs for the mission. “And even more so now, we’re seeing more and more people coming for water, and we’re seeing more heat-related illnesses on skid row.”