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.
Homeless in the Heat
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.
- 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 the person needs urgent medical help, call 999.