As most of us look forward to summer and spending more time with our families, at BBQ’s and on vacations, it is one of the most dangerous times of the year for a homeless person in Las Vegas. Imagine living on the streets during our excruciating summer heat, with no food, no water, and no shelter. While most of us can cool off by staying inside our homes, or dropping by an air-conditioned café, homeless people don’t have that luxury.
Here are three reasons summer can be deadly for homeless people in Las Vegas:
- Dehydration – According to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, “Persons who live on the streets or in shelters are at increased risk for dehydration in warmer climates, particularly during summer months.” Without the proper amount of fluids, a person’s body is thrown into dehydration. Many homeless people are on medication and/or drink alcohol, exposing them to an even higher risk of dehydration. Symptoms begin as being thirsty, having dry mouth, and experiencing fatigue and irritability. Left untreated, dehydration can become severe, including delirium, seizures, brain damage, and even death.
- Exposure-Related Illnesses – Without relief from the heat, homeless neighbors may suffer sunburn, cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Sadly, these symptoms often result in death as well.
- Hygiene Dangers – The inability to use clean bathroom facilities and take showers is another threat to homeless people’s welfare. Sweating is a natural way for our bodies to maintain body temperature by cooling us down. However, sweating quickly becomes life-threatening for homeless men, women and children that only have one pair of clothes, under garments and socks. Clothes and socks soaked with sweat can lead to rashes, infections, and other health problems. Trench Foot is a condition caused by prolonged exposure to damp, cold, unsanitary conditions. If untreated, gangrene can set in, and foot amputation is not uncommon.
The Las Vegas Rescue Mission is a beacon of hope in the heart of the city for homeless men, women and children looking for relief from the life-threatening summer heat and sizzling sidewalks.
You can rescue your homeless neighbors from the deadly heat. Access to clean water is critical for our homeless during the summer. Be a hero to them by dropping off a case of bottled water and/or give a gift of any amount today. To donate, click here.