Enjoying summer safely is hard when you’re homeless

Who remembers the sunscreen song from the late 1990s?

How about this line?

Don’t expect anyone else to support you

Last month was scorching hot in Oxford, with the barometer topping 29°C. The clouds might have gathered more in recent weeks, but have you ever thought about how hot weather can affect vulnerable people who might not have anywhere to live?  

Lugging heavy bags containing winter clothes, sunburn and dehydration are all hazards that are heightened when the sun is shining.  Due to the pandemic, there are fewer shaded spaces for people to access and water fountains have been switched off in many areas.  

We’re being told to ‘enjoy summer safely’ but how is this possible when you don’t even have access to basic necessities?

When sharing water bottles is the only option, some people don’t have the luxury of worrying about coronavirus.

Advice issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says that heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder and occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature. The body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes and heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.1 

Hot weather can exacerbate existing health conditions ranging from respiratory issues to adverse effects on mental health.  

Why not buy a ticket for our online raffle? You will help us to challenge the issues that lead to people becoming homeless in the first place at the same time as putting yourself in with a chance to win prizes that will help you to enjoy the summer yourself.

It isn’t only the extreme cold that can be deadly to those in vulnerable categories. People who become homeless often don’t expect anyone else to support them. We’re there to prove them wrong – whatever the weather.