Salvation Army Provides Heat Relief to Vulnerable People

salvation army worker distributes cold water to vulnerable people during heat wave
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Many cities in Canada are experiencing extreme heat and according to Health Canada, the number of annual days with scorching hot temperatures is expected to double within the next 30 years.

“Keeping cool and hydrated during extreme heat is vital,” says Debbie Clarke, who is the director of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services in Winnipeg. “With that in mind, The Salvation Army is on the front lines serving the vulnerable, where needed.”

In Winnipeg, due to recent heat waves, some residents are struggling to beat the heat. The Salvation Army is distributing free bottles of water in low-income neighbourhoods and offering hydration at many of their centres.

“Each time we go out, we give away close to 500 bottles of water.”

“Each time we go out, we give away close to 500 bottles of water,” says Clarke, who pushes her cooler on wheels through Central Park in downtown Winnipeg. “Most of the people we serve say, ‘Thank you. God bless you.’” The Salvation Army also provides bottled water at its Community Response Unit located in another area of the park.

Clarke pays attention to the heat and humidex readings and targets locations where the most vulnerable people are trying to cool off, such as parks and low-income areas.

“The Salvation Army is on the front lines serving the vulnerable.”

“The people we serve include those experiencing homelessness or battling addiction, seniors and low-income citizens who sit outside because they aren’t fortunate enough to have air conditioning,” says Clarke.

The Salvation Army is offering similar services in cities across Canada that include Ottawa, Hamilton and Halifax.

“Many health risks can arise when temperatures soar,” says Clarke. “Ensuring that people stay hydrated and offering other cooling options shows that someone cares. And caring inspires them to protect themselves from the dangers of hot weather.”