The month of June seems to be flying by, and with each passing day the temperatures are growing more dangerous for the homeless community in Baltimore. Any Maryland resident can tell you that the weather here is incredibly unpredictable, but in the summertime one thing is for certain – humidity takes over. Let’s discuss the risks associated with rising heat and the homeless community moving forward in the summer months.
The Pain and Risk of Dehydration
According to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, “Persons who live on the streets or in shelters are at increased risk for dehydration in warmer climates, particularly during summer months.” Many homeless people do not have access to the appropriate amount of clean water, if any at all. Without fluids, you become dehydrated and your body can suffer from thirst pains, fatigue, irritability, poor immunity, dry mouth, and more.
When dehydration is left untreated, the effects become severe and can lead to sunken eyes, lack of urination, seizures, brain damage, and even death. Homeless people aren’t the only ones at risk! One study indicated that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Why? Because alcohol and caffeine intake paired with a high sodium diet offsets the intake of otherwise hydrating fluids. Stay hydrated this summer, and help those in need around you do the same.
Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
Without relief from the heat, many members of the homeless community may suffer from heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Sadly, death as a result of these symptoms is not uncommon. The Baltimore City Code Red Program was put into place in 2006 and works to provide those in need with access to cooling centers on “Code Red days” – when the heat risk is simply too great. Local homeless outreach teams in Baltimore work to provide homeless individuals with bottled water and other resources during these events and throughout the hotter months. If you want to help the homeless in Baltimore survive the heat this summer and stay hydrated year-round, consider donating water bottles and funds to My Brother’s Keeper or your local community outreach. Together, we can prevent a life from being lost to extreme heat.
Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Helping
To learn more about how to help, or to find out more about our services including hot meal programs, employment assistance, health services and identifying possible emergency shelter, call MBK today at 410-644-3194. You can also follow our official MBK page on Google+,Pinterest,Twitter, and Facebook, to stay up to date on our center’s progress and upcoming events in the community.