It can be hard to know how to help those most vulnerable during heat waves, including people with no other safe place to go. There are many ways to support people experiencing homelessness during the summertime, including these simple ways to make a difference:
- Care kits: In many cases, helping with food or clothing is better than giving money. Keep care kits with you that include bottled water, sports drinks, snacks and/or gift cards. Cooling towels and ice packs during warm weather are also great to offer.
- Volunteer: Cooling shelters will open during extreme hot weather and/or dangerous air quality conditions this summer, and emergency management volunteers help with daytime staffing. Learn more here: www.BeavertonOregon. gov/EM-Volunteers.
- Be kind: If you encounter someone who is homeless, smile and say hello. Acknowledging the person gives them dignity. Engage the person in conversation and listen to their story. This is especially meaningful in a time when stereotypes and misconceptions about homelessness are so prevalent.
In addition, the Community Services Program has created a map and list of different resources nearby in Beaverton including bathroom, food, and shelter information.
To learn more about the city’s Community Services program, visit www.BeavertonOregon.gov/CommunityServices.