A homeless young person supported by Centrepoint. The government’s flagship youth unemployment programme – The Youth Obligation –aims to provide unemployed 18 to 21 years with intensive work search support to help them find a job.

How to help homeless people in hot weather

Hot weather can be detrimental to the health of those sleeping rough – and with a UK heatwave on its way, there’s never been a better time to know what you can do to help those stuck outside.

Whilst most of us relish the hotter months – a chance to top up the tan, have a barbecue and explore the great outdoors – for homeless people, it can be a treacherous time, and one that could potentially be life-threatening.

This week we’re expected to see temperatures soar to above 30°C, and for those without a place to shelter, this can lead to a high risk of sunstroke, sunburn and dehydration.

Luckily, there are plenty of small steps you can take to help keep homeless people safe at this time. 

1. Get your umbrellas out

If you’ve got any old umbrellas lying around, why not give them to a rough sleeper? Not only are they great in winter for a bit of shelter when it’s raining, they’re perfect for this time of year too, offering a bit of respite from the sun in extreme heat.

2. Give away your sunscreen

We know sunscreen can be a little pricey, but if you have some left over from your holiday, or have a couple of bottles sitting in your cabinet, hand one out to a rough sleeper – sun protection is oh-so important to someone who is out in the elements all day. The higher the SPF, the better.

3. Freeze some bottles

There is nothing better than rubbing an ice-cold bottle across your forehead on a balmy day. So stick a couple of travel-size bottles filled with water in your freezer (anything too big will be too heavy for rough sleepers to carry with them). This way, their purpose becomes two-fold: a nice cooler to rub on the skin, and then a refreshing bottle of crisp, cold water to drink.

4. Give out water-rich food

If you’re able to hand out some food, that’s great too! Keeping in mind the time of year and the weather, try giving out more refreshing foods with a high water content: fruit such as oranges, watermelon, apples and pineapple will help, as will veggies like cucumber and tomatoes.

5. Hand out your hats

In winter people tend to donate their old coats and scarves, but summer is a great time to donate old clothes too. Giving away old caps, hats and sunglasses that you no longer wear will help prevent sunstroke and eye damage.

6. Contact emergency services where necessary

If you see someone suffering from sunstroke or needing urgent medical attention due to the heat, or for anything else, don’t hesitate to call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

7. Contact StreetLink

If you’re based in England or Wales, rough sleepers can be referred to StreetLink. Just call 0300 500 9014, or download the Streetlink app, which allows you to send an alert when you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough. They will help you to connect a person sleeping rough with the local services that can support them.

8. Contact Centrepoint

And of course, for vulnerable young people sleeping rough, you can contact our Helpline team on 0808 800 0661, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, and they will provide that young person with help and guidance in order to get them into safe accommodation.  

If you enjoyed this, you might also like...

Centrepoint’s Legal Team Help Young People Get the Justice They Deserve

22 October, 2021

Our legal team make up a vital part of the service we offer young people at Centrepoint. For those seeking legal support, it can be incredibly difficult to attain without financial aid, and so many often go without. Centrepoint is here to help change that. Nabila, a legal administrator coming to the end of a secondment with the Legal Team, tells us about what she has learnt during her time with the department and the important service they provide.

Read more

Two Nights With Dazed Live, In Aid of Centrepoint

19 October, 2021

On the 9 and 10 October Centrepoint’s corporate partner, Dazed, invited its audiences to come behind the scenes at its HQ at 180 The Strand in London for DAZED LIVE, to mark their 30th anniversary. The two-day festival, aimed at 16- to 25-year-olds, focused on making and showcasing music, art, fashion, activism and more, all in aid of Centrepoint.

Read more

Young, Black and Homeless: Observations from Centrepoint’s front line

10 October, 2021

More than 50% of the young people Centrepoint supports come from a Black, Asian and ethnic minority background. As such, our hope this Black History Month is to initiate conversations that will help foster a fully inclusive culture at Centrepoint. Here, Digital Campaigns and Mobilisation Officer, Pooja Singh, sheds light on the challenges of being young, Black and homeless, from the perspectives of Centrepoint’s frontline staff.

Read more