Summer Without Shelter: Reality for homeless in the heat

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Eau Claire (WQOQ) – For many of us, summertime brings fun in the sun, enjoying all the outdoors has to offer. For the homeless in Eau Claire, the heat brings a new season of challenges.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 618 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year, and the homeless are especially vulnerable.

Organizations like Family Promise of the Chippewa Valley do what they can to help.

Executive Director Amy Giani said the Beacon House and other shelters can direct people to cooling shelters when the heat gets dangerous. The Beacon House says it provided nearly 6,000 nights of stay last year and the warmer months are no exception.

Giani said while the summer weather may seem less dangerous, homeless families can still use a helping hand.

“When we had those really cold months people really rallied in and asked ‘what can we do to help?’ In the summer that’s not in the forefronts of some people’s minds and it’s just as much of a need as it is during the winter,” Giani said.

Giani said in the summertime, the homeless could use toiletries like sunscreen and bug spray, but even just water can make a difference.

Emily Shepardson

Emily Shepardson

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