The heat is on! Everyone Home DC’s Street Outreach Team and Day Center, Shirley’s Place, have kicked into high gear to support our neighbors living outside in vulnerable situations. We often think of winter as the most dangerous time for people experiencing homelessness, AND the summer months can also be deadly for those who live outside.
Every year, the District creates a Heat Emergency Plan to help keep everyone in our city safe during the hottest summer days. When the temperature or heat index reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the city activates a Heat Emergency which triggers the opening of cooling centers. In addition, shelter transport vans will circulate to conduct safety checks, distribute water, and provide transportation to the cooling centers.
Want to help? Here are a few ways to support our neighbors experiencing homelessness during the extreme heat:
- Be aware of signs and symptoms of heat related illness like goosebumps, dizziness, heavy sweating, vomiting, faintness, loss of consciousness, or inappropriate dress for hot weather.
- When in doubt, call 911. If you are concerned that a person is experiencing symptoms of heat stroke (e.g. loss of consciousness, lack of sweat), call 911 and take direction from the dispatcher.
- Save the number to the Shelter Hotline (202-320-7702) in your phone and call and ask for a safety check if you are concerned about someone on the street.
- Purchase a bottle of water or a sports drink for a person experiencing homelessness. Staying hydrated helps prevent heat-related illness.
- Sign up to receive alerts from AlertDC so you know when a Heat Emergency is activated.
- Support Everyone Home DC by purchasing items off of our Amazon Wish List. We can never have enough undershirts, socks and underwear during summer.
- Sign up to volunteer with Everyone Home DC’s Homeless Assistance Response Team.
Please share this information with your friends, family, colleagues, and social networks as an easy way to make a difference in the lives of individuals who find themselves in extremely vulnerable situations. Thank you!