Agencies that help homeless people in Edmonton are asking the public to donate items that can help their clients weather the summer heat.
"What we are really needing for our community at the moment would be water bottles,” said Julian Daly, executive director of Boyle Street Community Services.
“People can reuse those and refill them. Hats and shorts, those would be really useful for our community.”
The Hope Mission is also seeking water bottle donations. Spokesman Robin Padanyi says dehydration is a danger for people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“You might not necessarily know when you’re going through dehydration,” he said. “So our staff have to be really careful keeping an eye on people’s conditions.”
The Hope Mission van delivers food and water to people like 30-year-old Dominic Chezzi, who says he’s spent half his life on the streets.
Chezzi has noticed that people often don’t realize they need water.
“Well a lot of them are drinkers right?” he said. “And they don't really think that they need hydration during the day and they are out in the sun all day and it just fries their brain.”
Mathew Wong, a registered nurse with Boyle Street Community Services, hands out sunscreen and educates homeless people about the need to stay out of the sun.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be a real risk, he said.
"The body loses too much water, the body's core temperature gets way too high and out of control. In some cases, it becomes such an emergency that the ambulance needs to be called."
The agencies are accepting donations of water bottles, sunscreen and hats as well as cash.