Poverty Doesn’t Take A Summer Vacation

Summertime can often trigger the need for vacations, beach life, or general outdoor activities but for many of our guests the warmer temperatures often mean facing another set of challenges.

For those living rough or spending the majority of their day outdoors, a heat wave can seriously harm or even become a matter of life or death.

“Our staff are being extra alert in recognizing or identifying participants who may be in distress due to the heat,” says Rochelle Nieuwenhuis, The Mustard Seed Edmonton’s 96th Street Building Frontline Supervisor.

“We want to ensure that our community is safe and receives the care they need in these temperatures.”

Heat stroke, and dehydration are very real possible health issues for guests who do not generally have proper clothing attire, sunscreen, water, and access to lots of shade.

“When it gets extremely hot out, we open up our Support Centre floor so that clients can avoid direct sunlight,” said David Cha, Street Level Team Lead at The Mustard Seed’s 102 building downtown Calgary. “Drinking water and wearing a hat can be a literal lifesaver. We asked some of our guests if they had any tricks or tips for beating the heat this week and one simply said “pray.”

“It’s incredibly important that we have bottled water to hand out to our clients who are unable to access it any other way,” says Bill Nixon, Director of Basic Services Calgary.

Thankfully, we received a generous donation of 50,000 bottles of water from Ice River Springs at our Calgary location, so we feel prepared. The staggering donation even allowed us to help out some fellow agencies and shelters who are in need.

“In this type of weather, it’s critical that we keep our community cool and hydrated. Heat Stroke is a major concern for our community who, unlike us, often have no escape from the rising temperatures,” adds Dean Kurpjuweit, Managing Director of The Mustard Seed Edmonton.

Check out below some ways you can support our guests this summer through donations:

  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Loose clothing items: t-shirts, tank tops and shorts