During the summer, the outdoor temperatures will consistently rise, causing a great deal of discomfort at times. However, what does all of this mean for members of the homeless population? After all, they don't have access to some of the luxuries that we all have, such as air conditioning and cold water. As a result, this can cause them to become vulnerable to issues such as heat stroke, severe sunburns, and more.
Here are three different ways that you can provide assistance to the homeless population during the summer season.
Ask for Extra Help
Take the time to contact officials in your area of residence, who will be able to locate homeless people affected by the serious summer heat by transporting them to a local cooling center. These types of centers provide both cold water and a cool place for individuals to stay during the week whenever a heat alert is in effect.
Talk to Them
Don't be afraid to not only speak to a homeless person, but also provide them with bottles of water, as well as other necessities to help keep them safe and cool. These can include the following:
Be Familiar with Where Cooling Center Are
Knowing where the cooling centers in your area of residence are will help you guide a homeless person to a safe place to go in order to escape the summer heat. Utilize the internet and other similar services to become familiar with where these centers are located.
It’s no secret that Austin has been trying to increase their effort towards helping homeless individuals get off the street and to a better place in their lives. Homelessness in Austin is an increasingly pressing issue, and in 2018 there were approximately 2,147 homeless people living in the city, and increase by more than 100 people from the year before.
Austin has been trying to address the homelessness issue in Austin for years with lackluster results, not for the lack of trying. The city is now shifting their focus away from managing the issue, and are focusing more on solving it, which is where the Austin Homelessness Advisory Group is showing to be an integral part to that effort.
The Austin City Council has officially approved the purchase of a $8.6 million property located in South Austin to house a new homeless shelter.
The shelter, which will be located just off Ben White Boulevard, will be constructed inside an already-existing building and marks the latest effort from the city to help assist the people of Austin who are directly affected by homelessness. This includes the goal of constructing shelters in all ten City Council Districts.
On Thursday, June 20th the City of Austin approved an ordinance that would amend the city’s codes on camping in public areas, solicitation, sitting or lying down on public sidewalks and camping in downtown Austin.
Under the new ordinance, according to KXAN, the Austin Police Department will not be allowed to give our tickets or arrest homeless individuals who are soliciting, camping, sitting or lying in a public space in Austin unless they are causing a public health or safety hazard. An offense would only qualify for an arrest or ticket if they’re endangering the health and safety someone else or if they’re “intentionally making a public area impassable or unsable”.