Homeless or unhoused people are more likely to have heat exhaustion and heatstroke in high temperatures
ST. LOUIS — St. Louis County is feeling the heat and the Maplewood Salvation Army in St. Louis County is ready to help people cool down.
“They don’t need to sign up,” Captain Jeanette Jensen of the Maplewood Salvation Army Corps said. “We just want to make sure that they’re safe.”
Salvation Army centers across the St. Louis area open up as daytime cooling centers when a Heat Advisory is issued. All of them offer water, some have snacks, at no charge.
So, if the heat is getting to you, don’t hesitate.
“Extreme heat is the number one cause of weather-related death. That’s not acceptable if we can do something about it.”
COVID safety is a priority.
Masks are provided and people are socially distanced.
“We want them to focus on recovering from heat. Not the possibility of recovering from the virus,” Jensen said.
Homeless or unhoused people are more likely to have heat exhaustion and heatstroke in high temperatures. Resources like these could mean the difference between life and death. Jenson said a great deal of the people using the Salvation Army cooling resources are unhoused.
“It would be a large percentage of the homeless and those who are dealing with difficulties — even if they are housed — maybe their air just isn’t as adequate as it should be,” Jensen said.
In St. Louis, the city’s unhoused population is looking to beat the heat, and one group is making accommodations to meet the need.
We met with Amanda Laumeyer, Senior Director of Development of the St. Patrick Center.
“A lot of our clients — a lot of them are facing different challenges and not getting the care they need,” she said. “Add that on top of the heat, it can really create a lot of additional stress and medical problems for our clients.”
They say their doors are open to anyone who needs help. During heat advisories, people can come into their lobby to access air conditioning. But, because they have to stay 6 feet apart, seats are limited.
We’re told the center’s new downtown warehouse encampment, Camp Cole, might be a good option.
“There’s a lot of airflow that goes through because of the setup,” Amanda said. “That with the huge fans and the air conditioning has really helped. We have water there 24/7.”
St. Louis City has public access water fountain locations and cooling centers listed here.
Originally Appeared Here