With temperatures rising into the high nineties this week, it is important to keep in mind that those without a place to live are just as much in need now as they may be during the winter months. It is almost impossible to imagine what it would be like to be in the direct summer sunlight all day, with few opportunities for shade or relief. Even at night, temperatures remain high in many cities. While food banks and homeless shelters are usually busy around the holidays and in cold temperatures, heat and dehydration pose serious threats during the summer. The homeless often risk not only severe dehydration, but also sunburn and heat exhaustion/ heat stroke. Items such as water bottles, sunglasses, long sleeve t-shirts, and towels are all collected by organizations throughout the summer.
In addition to collecting supplies and assisting those who are homeless, there are many people working on the ultimate goal of reducing and ending homelessness. Two summers ago, the organization “100,000 Homes” jumpstarted their goal of getting 100,000 needy people into homes by using Rapid Results, a non-profit organization that aims to reach goals by creating 100 day challenges. Rapid Results has proven effective in setting seemingly ambitious goals but really pushing to achieve them. Through this method 100,000 Homes housed 105,580 people. This idea of a “rapid result” is something you can apply to any community. Setting extreme goals can actually be very effective, especially if you have the willpower and organization to follow through in achieving them.
So through the August heat, keep those less fortunate in mind and know that there is never a “bad” time to volunteer and donate. Ask local shelters and food banks what supplies they might need throughout the summer.