Heat and Homelessness

Helping the homeless survive summer heat 

While many people worry about homeless people during the winter months, summertime can actually be more dangerous for those living on the streets. When the temps soar near 100 degrees, health risks can include heat stroke, dehydration, increased occurrence of athlete’s foot, and exhaustion.

Here are some ways to help the homeless in the summer.

Contact your local rescue mission. Use AGRM’s Locate a Mission feature and search for the rescue mission nearest you. While missions provide various services, call the mission closest to you as a starting point. If they don’t provide assistance specifically to help with heat relief, they might be able to connect you with another local agency that does.

Provide lightweight clothing. Just as you might contribute or distribute winter coat, hats, and gloves to homeless people during the winter, think through what they need in the summer. These items might include shorts and T-shirts. And a small tube of sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) would also be helpful.

Give out bottled water or sports drinks. Plain and simple, water prevents dehydration. Sports drinks—such as Gatorade—help replace lost electrolytes and minerals that can help if dehydration has already set in.

Give away backpacks. Check out this homemade video for where to get backpacks and what to include in them.