6th July 2018

Homeless in the Heat

Sweaty, dehydrated and sunburnt. For some, the heatwave may be a delightful change but for those living on the streets the constant heat is a danger and as potentially life-threatening as the severe cold and snow we experienced earlier in the year.

Rough sleepers face heat exhaustion and heatstroke when exposed to the sun for long periods of time, with no way of cooling down their body. Accessing water is difficult with few public fountains located in Leeds, Bradford or Huddersfield. Shade, and a chance to cool down, is often denied. Shopping centres are patrolled by guards and the streets by police. Both often move rough sleepers on, making chances to shelter and use public toilets difficult.

At Simon on the Streets we are focused on the long-term. The heatwave will come and go, but unfortunately for the people we support many of their problems can’t be immediately solved. Neither money or accommodation can halt a drug or alcohol addiction, cure mental health problems or reverse abuse, trauma, neglect or unhappy circumstances.

We provide unconditional support and empathy to peoples' aspirations, their confidence and sense of self-worth. We hope to create permanent change for individuals who might otherwise spend their shortened lives on the streets. The average life expectancy of a person who is homeless is just 47 years old.

What you can do

- Donate to our summer fundraising appeal which will help us continue providing outreach to those on the streets. Our team goes out to people on the streets rather than relying on them to access services.- Offer to buy rough sleepers cold water or sun cream (little packets/bottles of sun scream are particularly useful to hand out).

- Suggest anyone in the sun move to the shade to protect themselves, or direct them to a day centre where they can access showers and keep out of the sun.

- Donate sunhats and suncream to Simon on the Streets or other homeless charities in Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield

- If you're worried about someone sleeping rough, contact us or use Street Link to report their location. Please give as much detail about their appearance and location as possible.

- If the person needs urgent medical help, call 999.

Other Blog Posts

23rd May 2019

Farid's story

One of our outreach workers has been supporting Farid (real name not used). When our outreach worker first met Farid, he had just been granted asylum in Leeds, having left his home country due to war. Farid had been in the UK for a while, and although he was not able to work, he had been spending his free time as a volunteer translator for a charity, as he wanted to give back.

Service User Stories

15th April 2019

Early Morning Outreach

One of our outreach workers in Leeds give us an insight into going on outreach early in the morning and why it's important.

Outreach, Leeds