The Dangers of Experiencing Homelessness in the Summer

Summer is a time that we spend barbequing with family, lathering ourselves in sunscreen, and sitting out by the pool. But for the 7,000 people facing homelessness in metro Atlanta, fun summer activities are replaced with restless nights, heat exhaustion, and the fear of dehydration. Without access to air-conditioned spaces, reliable shelter, and water supplies, those experiencing homelessness in the summer are left to spend night after night on the scorching streets.

The blacktop on Atlanta’s streets can reach 175 degrees in the summer. Imagine if that was your home.

 Here are just a few of the threats for those experiencing homelessness in the summer.

Dehydration

Staying hydrated during the heat is extremely important. According to dietician and nutritionist, Lauren Minchen, you should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water to stay properly hydrated. Without the proper amount of water, your body is thrown into dehydration. Some of the effects of dehydration include:

  • Delirium
  • Seizures
  • Brain damage
  • Death

Exposure-Related Illnesses

Lengthy exposure to the sun can take a toll on your body. The sun gives off different types of UV rays that go through our skin, and without relief from the heat and UV exposure, our neighbors facing homelessness can suffer the following:

  • Severe sunburn
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Sun poisoning
  • Heat stroke
  • Eye injuries
  • Lowered immune system
  • Skin cancer

Hygiene Dangers

Maintaining good hygiene practices is hard enough for our friends facing homelessness, but add summer heat and lack of resources into the equation, and bad hygiene can cause some serious health issues. The inability to use clean bathroom facilities and take showers causes sweat and bacteria to build up and infect areas of the body. Some conditions caused by lack of hygiene include:

  • Rashes
  • Infections
  • Trench foot
  • Blisters
  • Staph infection

Nobody deserves to endure these dangers associated with the brutal Atlanta heat. If you notice that someone is in need of immediate help, please call 9-1-1. 

For ideas on how to help protect a homeless friend this summer from suffering one of these heat-related illnesses, click here. Your help truly does change lives – one person at a time. 

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