Homelessness Doesn’t Take a Summer Break

by Dr. Chad Audi

By now, you’ve probably made your summer vacation plans. Perhaps you’re taking the kids to Disney World or you have a family reunion to attend. Schoolteachers are enjoying the summer break, and some workplaces are operating on summer hours, giving employees Fridays off. Summer is a wonderful time, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, for the nation’s nearly 600,000 homeless individuals, summertime does not provide a break or vacation. In fact, some cities see a spike in family homelessness during the summer. When the school year ends, more families show up at homeless shelters. That’s because during the school year, families do whatever they can so as not to disrupt their children’s daily routine or school location.

As a result, these families may end up staying in a home without electricity or gas. Or they may move in with other families who are relatives or friends. However, when school lets out for the summer, the home becomes overcrowded with stay-at-home kids, and the at-risk family ends up leaving. We also suspect that a landlord is more likely to evict a family during warm weather rather than in the wintertime.

So, for many organizations like the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), occupancy in our shelters is pretty much the same year round. The hot, summer sun sends the homeless on the street in search of shelter just like the cold wind and snow in the winter. The heat can lead to several health-related issues, such as dehydration, blistered feet, heat stroke, respiratory problems, and malnourishment.

Homelessness is a byproduct of many different circumstances. And it never takes a break. Support your local rescue mission and homeless shelter this summer by donating money, lightweight clothing, baby wipes, foot care products and other toiletries, and bottled water.

Dr. Chad Audi

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