Hope you’re all faring well in Britain’s unprecedented heatwave. Temperatures are expected to top 41 degrees Celsius in parts of England over the next couple of days with all the concomitant transport disruption, repetitive health warnings and gratuitous shots of beach sunbathers on the ITV News.
It’s something of a British tradition to complain about the weather. But, provided you have access to shelter, sunscreen, water on tap and appropriate clothing - inhabitants of these islands should weather this particularly unusual storm unscathed.
There’s one group in the population who (by definition) can’t take for granted that they will be able to protect themselves from the elements. Homeless people can find extreme heat equally as insufferable as extreme cold. Being homeless in a heatwave brings with it its own set of challenges.
A lot of the protections from heat that we rely on involve being indoors. We’ve all been bombarded with messages about how to stay cool and hydrated. We’re told to close the curtains, drink lots of water, avoid being outside in the hottest parts of the day, and take a cooling shower. These options simply may not be available to someone living out of a tent.
Public buildings such as libraries and churches may offer some respite from the heat for those who have no suitable private dwelling to retreat to. But there are reasons why some homeless people may not be able to use these public spaces. (For example, they may have a dog they don’t wish to be apart from, or they may be refused entry by overzealous gatekeepers.)
So as you suck a Solero in front of your electric fan, spare a thought for those who may be moving from shady pillar to resting post in search of a sip of water.
We’re hoping the upcoming Kanndoo app will provide a genuine solution to a homeless person’s needs. They’ll be able to log in and see at a glance all the help and resources on offer within a 5 mile radius of their location.
Have you ever been homeless during an extreme weather event? We want to hear from people who would like to share their stories. You can contact Kanndoo on 01603 971590 or email firstname.lastname@example.org