Each winter Cape St. Claire United Methodist partners with Arundel House of Hope for two weeks to provide emergency housing for people in our area. We develop friendships with the folks that visit with us, sometimes we'll see folks we recognize from the area or friends we made in previous years.
However, as the Winter Relief program closes at the end of the season and as the days grow longer and hotter, many of the friends we made still haven't established secure housing. This often means these adults and children are exposed to the elements once again, presenting another set of challenges.
We often think about doing something nice for people who are homeless during the winter whether its collecting jackets or sleeping bags, but summer can be just as unbearable with the threat of dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion and other heat related ailments.
Below are a few small, but helpful ways we can be faces of compassion to our neighbors in need (perhaps you could assemble a care kit and keep it in your trunk):
Collect and distribute clothing: while jackets are great for winter, clean and cool clothing in good condition can be a lifesaver in the summertime.
Baby Wipes: these are great for folks to cool down and clean up on the go.
Bottled water or sports drink: doesn't have to be iced, just cool. Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade help replenish much needed nutrients.
Fresh Sock and Underwear: useful year round, but especially while walking under the summer sun.
Smiles: smiles are free and can be carried with you everywhere, though best accompanied by a listening ear.
These things can help prevent heat exhaustion. If you find that someone is experiencing or is at risk for a heat related emergency such as a heat stroke- Call 911.
If you encounter anyone who could use some shade or a cool setting, please direct them to one of the many cooling centers in our area. Anne Arundel County has provided a press release with information about cooling centers in many locations. Click the PDF to the right to learn more.
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirst and you gave me something to drink..."