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Summer's Coming

Okay, so it’s May 1st, and with the Tulip Festival right around the corner and the warmer temperatures becoming more frequent, I’m thinking about our street friends. As I was working last week, I was reminded that homelessness isn’t just a winter issue; it’s an issue all year round. In the summer, our street friends are still looking for shelter, but this time, it’s to beat the heat.

Often, we are most aware of our city’s homelessness issue during the winter because that’s when many bring the issue to our attention. But sometimes we forget that homelessness is an issue in the summer because who doesn’t love the warmer weather, especially after a cold winter? I’m particularly convicted by this sentiment because I often think, “Who doesn’t like the heat? I mean, being outside in the summer is better than being outside in the winter.”

But the reality is that just as we look to escape the sun and find a cool place, so do our street friends. Many call the streets their home and don’t have a regular place to cool off. Instead, they are forced to find a shady spot likely occupied by several others. So the challenge for our street friends is finding a spot to get out of the sun and a place that isn’t already full of others who also hope to stay cool.

Summer can be ruthless for our street friends with the scorching heat and what feels like no place to cool off. I am thankful that our Street Outreach teams work hard to provide cool beverages and snacks by hauling around big coolers. One of those snacks is freezies. These are a favourite of our street friends who crave anything cold during the summer months. We hope they and the cold drinks help make the summer heat a little more bearable.

~Andrew Murphy, Communications & Connections Coordinator

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