Help in the heat
"During the day, concrete and asphalt in cities absorb so much heat that it can drive up temperatures by up to twelve degrees when it is released during the night, which can mean that bearably hot days become deadly – as was the case in 1995 during the heatwave in Chicago, when 739 people died [...]" - Jonathan Franzen, 2020.
Nevertheless, even 25 years later people are increasingly migrating to urban areas. And it's not only the population, but also the temperatures that are rising rapidly in cities. In many places, the average highs during the summer already exceed 35 degrees. Death or lasting brain damage from the heat have long ceased to be an exception.
Homeless people are unable to escape the heat and are therefore particularly at risk, which is why we have joined forces with the Berliner Wasserbetriebe and are using funds from the LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin to call for help in the heat. Our Youth and Task Force are out on the streets of Berlin giving out drinking water, sunscreen, umbrellas, hats, sunglasses and sanitary items to protect those in need from dehydration, sunburn and direct sun exposure.
Alongside the heat, anonymity is also notably greater in the city than in the countryside. That's why we are urging all Berliners to also be alert, to not just walk past homeless people on the street, but rather to actively offer them help. The honest question of "Do you need anything?" can sometimes save lives. We have put together a few tips that anyone can apply very easily and thus make their own personal contribution to help in the heat. Let's #staycooltogether. We'd like to thank everyone who takes part and supports us – here's to a future of solidarity!
Incidentally: Cool, clean, high-quality tap water is available free of charge in many public squares in Berlin. Here you can find an overview of all of Berlin's drinking fountains.
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