Desiree Martinez, founder of the organization Homeless in Fresno, which is aides the homeless by giving out donated food and water to underserved homeless populations. Photo by Sean Havey

Desiree Martinez is busy in her kitchen preparing for her day helping Fresno’s homeless. One task: checking the local weather forecast.
“Ow! Triple digits all week!” she exclaims.
Realizing that this day will be a hot one, she pulls case after case of bottled water from her refrigerator, then stacks them in her vehicle outside.
“The water is really important,” she says. “The worst feeling in the world is having somebody come up to your car and ask for a bottle of water ’cause they’re sweating to death and you don’t have no more.”
On days when it’s this hot, Martinez spends hours driving around Fresno handing out bottled water to the homeless.
“I’ve been doing it for so long that I kinda get a feel for how many people are going to be at each place,” she says.
Fresno’s homeless used to be a lot more visible when they lived in large encampments. Fresno had a lot of these semi-permanent shantytowns …
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