It's been a hot summer with more to come. And although the heat is pretty tough on all of us, it is probably toughest of all for people whose home is the baked pavements of the Melbourne CBD. As the temperature nudged the mid-40s the other week, an Urban Seed staff member ran into a friend who was camping out. This was a beautiful, generous woman, who always struck up a conversation whenever the staff member went by. Today the friend looked pretty worn down, and as they talked, made the comment that having a big bag of ice would make her life a lot easier. The suggestion sparked an idea, and the next day a few Urban Seeders got out the trolley that was normally reserved for blankets and coffee, and filled it instead with water and ice. They pushed the trolley around the usual ‘blanket run’ route,striking up conversations with familiar and unfamiliar faces alike, and offering cool relief.
Read more about Urban Seed's Ice Run here.
Did you know?
Heatwaves cause more deaths in Australia each year than any other natural disaster.
VCOSS has undertaken some research into the issues and way vulnerable or at risk Australian's have to face the heat here are some of there findings:
- Vulnerable people living in public housing properties, rooming houses and caravans that were described by staff as ‘hot boxes’ and who had no access to cooling or cool areas.
- Lifts out of action in high rise accommodation because of heat-related power shortages.
- Vulnerable people having to walk in extreme heat due to inadequate public transport and risking fines because they could not afford transport costs to medical or other appointments.
- Landlords who did not allow air-conditioning or fans because of operating costs.
- Lack of monitoring for vulnerable people, such as those with mental health or alcohol and drug issues who risk heat stress or sunburn and sunstroke by wearing inappropriate clothes or being out in the sun.
- Lack of access to drinking water, particularly for people who are homeless and sleeping rough, as well as those living in accommodation that restricts access to kitchens and bathrooms.
Given all this, it was sad to see that Melbourne's homeless were being moved on. But it is heartening to see that Melbourne's Lord Mayor is wanting introduce an extreme weather policy for the vulnerable.