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How to Help the Unhoused Community During Summer Months

As the summer heat intensifies, it becomes a critical time to offer support to the unhoused community. Extreme temperatures can pose serious health risks, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Here are some practical ways you can help:

1. Provide Hydration

Dehydration is a significant risk during the summer months. Distribute bottled water or reusable water bottles to ensure they have access to clean drinking water.

Friendship Place accepts large packets of bottled water. Our Welcome Center could fill the refrigerator and give it out as needed! To coordinate drop-off, please contact: volunteer@friendshipplace.org.

2. Distribute Cooling Supplies

Friendship Place will accept donations of brand-new, unused items like hats, sunscreen, and lightweight clothing that can help protect against sunburn and heatstroke. Cooling towels and portable fans can also provide much-needed relief from the heat. Consider organizing a community drive to collect these items.

To coordinate drop-off, please contact: volunteer@friendshipplace.org.

3. Create or Support Cooling Centers

Cooling centers are safe places where people can escape the heat. If you have the resources, set up a temporary cooling center in a community hall, church, or any accessible building. If you do not have access to air conditioning, the District has cooling centers available (you can find the most convenient one with this map).

4. Offer Transportation Services

If you or someone you know needs transportation to a cooling center, call 202-399-7093 or dial 311. 

5. Raise Awareness and Advocate

Educate others about the dangers of extreme heat and the challenges faced by the unhoused community. Use social media to share information and resources. Advocate for long-term solutions, such as increased funding for shelters and affordable housing.

6. Support Us

Donate to or volunteer with us so that we may effectively serve the unhoused community. To learn how you can help, visit our “Get Involved” tab on our homepage.

7. Check on Vulnerable Individuals

If you know unhoused individuals in your community, check on them regularly. Ensure they have the resources they need to stay safe and offer assistance if they are struggling with the heat.

Helping the unhoused community during the hot summer months requires compassion, coordination, and action. Small efforts can make a significant difference, and by working together, we can provide relief and support to those in need. Remember, your involvement not only helps address immediate needs but also fosters a more caring and inclusive community.

Your Donation Helps End Homelessness!

Your support for Friendship Place has a lasting impact. In 2023, our programs ended or prevented homelessness for 4,993 people, including 1,507 children in families and 670 veterans. We empowered 167 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to get jobs through innovative, state-of-the-art job placement services. Make a donation today in support of our work to end homelessness. Questions? Please feel free to call our fundraising office, 202.957.7834.

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