Families deal with extreme temperatures in NYC homeless shelters during heat wave

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NEW YORK — Medina Greene has a story that sounds all too familiar.

A homeless mother, enduring a long term stay in one of New York City’s homeless shelter facilities.

“It’s a heat wave, about the second one, I believe, and now there’s no air,” said Greene.

In this case, it’s the Westway Inn in Astoria, Queens, where Greene says the air conditioning unit in her room, at least she thinks it’s an air conditioning unit, has not worked for weeks.

Greene adds that several other rooms have the same problem.

“My daughter is constantly getting sick. There’s no air. I complained. I called 311. I complained to the case manager. Complain to the manager. Then, when you go downstairs to they part of the building - it’s nothing but air in their offices,” said Greene.

We gave Greene the same handy indoor-outdoor thermometer that we used last winter when another homeless mother who called us about a lack of heat inside her frigid room at city run homeless shelter in the Bronx.

That was six months ago.

Now, on a sweltering June evening when Google registered an outdoor temperature in Astoria of 93 degrees, the indoor temperature is 95.1.

Greene says that she and her 8-year old daughter routinely wake up at night inside this hotbox with a headache, that is, when they can sleep at all.

“I can’t sleep at night, because it’s too hot,” said Greene’s young daughter.

Greene added, “it’s not a good experience. But I just do what I have to do, and work, because of my daughter.”

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