UK HEATWAVE: HOW YOU CAN HELP THE HOMELESS IN THIS HOT WEATHER.
The Met Office has warned that temperatures are at a ‘dangerous’ level, which has created a new set of problems for those sleeping rough. Here’s how you can help the homeless in the heatwave.
People tend to remember the homeless in the freezing winter months, but high temperatures can be even more dangerous for them. People sleeping rough are exceptionally vulnerable in the summer months, when long days and direct sun can become a risk to life.
A lot of people sleeping rough don’t have the basic items needed to survive on the streets in hot temperatures. As a result, we’re calling on the public to donate things like sun cream, water, and sun hats, to help those at risk in the coming months. People can either offer them directly, or donate them to us at the Maidstone Day Centre where we will be able to distribute them.
Below is some advice with easy ways to help for anyone wondering what they can do to assist someone sleeping on the streets. Instead of giving spare change, here are some essentials you can buy and distribute:
Sun screen - Sun burn is a very real threat to those exposed to the sun’s harmful rays all day, and sun screen is actually pretty expensive. Purchasing a high factor cream may help someone avoid skin damage.
A bottle of water and food - These things are always a good idea, but in the summer a bottle of water is an absolute must. Go big on the water and if possible, foods with a high water content such as vegetables and fruit, which are good for hydration.
Hats and sunglasses - Many homeless people will be out in direct sunshine all day which makes them vulnerable to heatstroke. Buying someone a wide-brimmed hat will help keep them protected from the sun. Sunglasses are also really helpful.
Contact emergency services - A person can become dehydrated very quickly in extremely hot weather if they haven’t had access to water for a while. If a homeless person appears passed out, don’t assume they are ‘just drunk’ or asleep, call 999 or 101.
During the next couple of days (Thursday 26/07, Friday 28/07) of forecasted extreme heat, the Day Centre has extended its opening hours until 4.00pm.
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