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Masks, water bottles handed out to Austin's homeless with Project H2O

Between the heat and a pandemic, those who are homeless face a lot. The Downtown Austin Alliance is trying to help by handing out masks and water bottles.

AUSTIN, Texas — In red polo shirts and pushing carts, Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) ambassadors are seen walking around downtown, often cleaning up the area. Now, they're also handing out water bottles and masks to people who are homeless. 

"You doing alright? Stay hydrated, OK?" asked one of the ambassadors. 

It's all part of the DAA's Project H2O.

"Our homeless population is the most vulnerable on the streets right now," said Matt Macioge, the director of operations for the DAA. "And when you have the pandemic with the oppressive heat that we're facing, the conditions become unbearable."

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Macioge said they have more than 500 masks to give out and plan on giving out 100 waters a day. 

"Where you and I are sheltering in place at our house, homeless have fewer options to provide them those. So the simple act of providing water to a person experiencing homelessness and a mask does a couple things," said Macioge. "It increases their health and well-being, but it also instills hope through the act of kindness."

Project H2O runs Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and also on some weekends.