Heat Wave in Times of COVID-19: Homeless and Vulnerable People Need Our Assistance

In addition to continuing to manage the health crisis brought on by the coronavirus, we’re experiencing the season’s first heat wave earlier than usual in Montréal. Because homeless women and men can’t stay home to stay safe from COVID-19 nor from the heat, we thought we should remind you that people without a home or living in precarious circumstances, who are often more vulnerable due to fragile health conditions, also need protection from the heat.

As an organization that helps people experiencing homelessness, the safety and well-being of those who knock at our door is our top priority. In order to overcome the challenges of this oppressive heat while continuing to apply physical distancing and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we offer everyone who comes to our doors as much as is physically possible:

  • Welcoming, air-conditioned areas
  • Fresh water
  • Showers
  • Balanced meals
  • Psychosocial support and more

If you see someone affected by the heat, offer them water and refer them to nearby resources, such as our emergency services for men and for women or our temporary installations operated in partnership with the City of Montréal.

In a heat wave, people should:

  • Drink lots of water (six to eight glasses of water per day for an adult)
  • Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages
  • Wear light clothing
  • Take cover under an umbrella, indoors, or wear a well-ventilated wide-brimmed hat
  • Use sunscreen to protect yourself from ultraviolet rays
  • Limit physical effort, especially in the middle of the day when it is hottest
  • Spend at least two hours a day in an air conditioned or cool place
  • Take at least one refreshing shower or bath per day or dab skin several times a day with a wet towel

For additional tips, go to: https://www.urgencequebec.gouv.qc.ca/En/situation-urgence/Pages/chaleur-accablante-ou-extreme.aspx

We encourage those in charge of public, commercial and other air-conditioned areas to be particularly lenient when the weather is this oppressive. A short break in a cool area for someone experiencing homelessness or living in poor housing can go a long way.

Let’s be collectively responsible and remember that access to water and rest in a cool area is vital for ALL.

Together, we can make Montréal a city that cares about its most vulnerable residents, especially in these times of crisis. Your kindness helps us to achieve our mission.

Homeless women and men need your help now more than ever. Donate today to help us keep homeless Montrealers safe from the extreme heat and the pandemic.