20 Jun Message from the ED: June 2016
Even though we’re experiencing Juneuary right now, summer is approaching with all of its wonderfulness. For most of us, summer means vacations, barbecues, swimming, hiking, beaches, and more time with our families. But for our women who access Sophia Way’s services, summer has a different meaning.
No matter the season, women without housing cannot escape the elements. ‘Nicer’ weather to someone who is housed means they can go outside, enjoy the sun and return to an air-controlled environment with immediate access to water. That same weather for someone who is unhoused means sunburns, dehydration, heat stroke, and the general discomfort of being hot and sweaty.
We have many menopausal or perimenopausal women who often sweat and fan themselves on a cool day, but summer gives added distress. Constant exposure to the elements also means that allergy sufferers struggle (often without funds to purchase allergy medication), and those prone to skin cancer leave themselves dangerously exposed.
I am especially worried about our older women and women without transportation. People who are housed have the luxury of having a wardrobe that has pieces for all seasons; when you only have what you can carry, you either have to get rid of clothing that will help you during cold nights, or endure heavy sweating. With no place to go, long hot days can be agonizing. I’ll be thinking of our women on the weekends. They will most likely be looking for safe places to stay for relief from the heat. However, like in the winter months, it may be difficult to stay in one place too long (a coffee shop, restaurant, etc.).
If you would like to help our women get through the summer safely, we are gratefully accepting the following donations at Sophia’s Place, our Day Center and Shelter:
- Bottled water
- Light summer clothing/sandals
- Baby wipes/hygiene wipes
- Foot care products
Angela Murray, Executive Director