09 July 2022
As temperatures soar across the country leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s has warned of the dangers hot weather can present for people sleeping rough.
The Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency have issued a Heat-Health alert which will be in force from Monday (11 July) until Friday (15 July) across large parts of the country including London and the South of England.
In response St Mungo’s has increased the number of routine outreach shifts it carries out both during the day and at night and will be offering people who are homeless water and sun protection; as well as helping them find places they can shelter from the intense heat.
St Mungo’s teams will also be working with local councils, which can activate their Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to ensure people experiencing homelessness are able to stay safe during the heatwave.
Petra Salva OBE, St Mungo’s Director of Rough Sleepers, Westminster and Migrant Services, said: “Sleeping rough is dangerous at any time of the year – but in extreme temperatures that risk is hugely increased.
“The people we support often have existing health conditions which can be exacerbated by the heat, also they may have limited access to things most people take for granted such as fresh drinking water, sun screen or even places where they can get out of the sun – all of which can lead to serious medical problems.
“Our expert Outreach teams are working tirelessly to make sure people are supported during this intense heat. This weather may be welcomed by many but for others it can be so dangerous, even life threatening.
“We urge members of the public to take action if they see someone who is homeless. It can be as simple as offering a drink or some sun protection.
“Any one concerned about a person who is street homeless can contact StreetLink which is a national service which connects people sleeping rough to local support. And, as ever, if someone is in an emergency situation people should call 999.”
StreetLink operates 24 hours a day, 365 day a year with alerts being passed to local outreach teams who then use the information to find and support people sleeping rough.
Find out more here – https://thestreetlink.org.uk/