How Heat Affects Those Facing Homelessness

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Thursday and Friday, temperatures in Lancaster County and Chester County are expected to soar to over 90 degrees with heat index values reaching 100 degrees and above. Both counties are under a heat advisory, with Chester County under an excessive heat warning.

All that to say, it’s hot. For most, this means spending extra time inside, allowing bodies to cool off in both the shade and the AC, and drinking plenty of fluids. But for those experiencing homelessness…it means something entirely different.

outreach resource coordinator water cart
In response to the heat wave, Emma, Good Sam Outreach Resource Coordinator, is walking through Ephrata handing out water and snacks to those who need it.

Those without housing often don’t have a place to go to cool down, have little access to water and are directly exposed to the elements.

Heat exhaustion. Dehydration. Sunburn. Heat stroke. All are current threats for those facing homelessness and the results can be deadly.

Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States, and the CDC estimates that around 1,200 people die from heat-related illnesses every year. Many of these illnesses are easily preventable.

On top of the struggles these men and woman face in their day-to-day lives, this week the burden and danger that comes from not having a roof over their heads and a place to call their own is heightened.

And you can help.

At Good Sam, we provide short-term housing that offers a safe space for those facing homelessness and housing insecurity to live and receive individualized care while they take steps to get back on their feet. We also provide preventative services to individuals and families to ensure they don’t lose their housing in the first place. By giving to Good Sam, you are helping us compassionately respond and empower those facing homelessness and during weeks like these, ensure they have a cool place to stay in the sweltering heat. 

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