Soaring temperatures in the region cause concerns for homeless community
As a heat wave bringe record high temperatures across the Maritimes, many are staying indoors with air conditioning to beat the heat.
But some people don’t have that option. The sizeable homeless community in Moncton, who generally sleep in tents, say warm weather like this can be very dangerous for them, with few options of places to cool down.
“For people who are homeless, it’s very difficult,” said House of Nazareth executive director, Jean Dube. “If you’ve ever been camping, been in a tent when it's 34 degrees, well, you can’t stay in a tent. It’s just too hot.”
Mike Babineau lives in a tent city in Moncton. On Sunday, he left his tent for the day looking for refuge in the shade.
“In a tent it’s like suffocating,” said Babineau. “When its 30 degrees and it’s like heating up.”
“A lot of people don’t want to leave their tent and go and get stuff because when they come back, their stuff is gone,” said Richard Hyslop, who has experienced being homeless before. “So, they’re kind of stuck there.”
Hyslop says he leaves bottled water on his doorstep, free to take for whoever needs it. He agrees the heat can be dangerous.
“When you’re out in the sun and that, you get weak, you get sick, and a lot of people don’t have places with clean water,” explained Hyslop.
Dube says he’s seen first-hand how powerful the heat can be.
“We had somebody collapse outside of House of Nazareth on Clark Street just last week because of the heat,” said Dube.
Dube is in the middle of building another shelter that should be opening next month. He says that should help eliminate the problem.
“They’ll have a place to go. There will be tables inside, there’s air conditioning, food, unlimited water,” said Dube.
Babineau says he is doing what he can to beat the heat.
“Shade for sure, drinking liquid so you don’t get dehydrated, heatstroke, and all that stuff,” said Babineau.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker