Already 90 degrees in the beginning of June, it’s going to be even hotter in July and August. With nowhere else to go, many homeless individuals are left on the city streets surrounded by hot pavement with immense health risks. The most common include dizziness, dehydration, heat stroke, and fatigue.
There are a few ways we can help people decrease their risk. The first is to hand out frozen water bottles. While liquid bottles heat quickly in the sun, frozen ones provide a cool surface while melting. People can use them on their neck or as a pillow to cool down. And as a bonus, water bottles are a valuable resource for someone without consistent access to running water.
Handing out items that provide protection from the sun is also vital. Being outdoors in direct sunlight for long periods of time causes harsh skin conditions with long term consequences. Providing sunscreen, hats, bandannas, and umbrellas offer important protection from the sun.
Having somewhere to escape the heat can be the most important resource in the summer, and it’s important to know where to go. Below is a list of places in DC available in the summer: