The heat we’ve been experiencing is just as dangerous to our homeless population than the bitter cold of winter.
Both Tuesday and Wednesday this week we broke 70-year-old weather records as temperatures soared above 30 degrees and while we can find different ways to cool off inside our homes – the same can’t be said for homeless people.
“People often think that our numbers will go down in the summer and that’s actually not the case. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been paying attention to our daily drop in rates and our numbers are actually higher,” said Centre of Hope executive director Amanda Holloway.
Holloway tells Mix News they’re seeing up to 70 people accessing their services a day. This doesn’t account for those their street reach team helps.
“They’re seeing, on average, about 24 to 26 individuals while they’re out on street reach. It gets incredibly warm and people need a space to get away from those elements, so we certainly don’t see it slow down because the weather has changed.”
Holloway notes their numbers have been rising consistently over the last little while – but the reason as to why is unknown.
She adds the biggest need for the homeless this time of year is water, hats, and sunscreen.
“Incredibly high concerns for people experiencing heat stroke, overexposure to the sun and we’ve seen that unfortunately many times at the drop in and outside so we’re always encouraging people to come in.”
Holloway says this is why more supplies are needed in the summer, which is part of the reason they run their annual “Hope in the Dark” event taking place on June 16 from 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. at 231 Hardin street.
Anyone interested in donating items can contact the Centre of Hope on their Facebook page.