Project update: Community Care Van provides aid during Sydney’s Heatwave
This Summer, Sydney has experienced sudden and dramatic fluctuations in temperature. These conditions often catch the homeless by surprise, making them particularly vulnerable to heat related illness during the warmer months. In response the NSW Branch’s Community Care Van is distributing water, sunscreen and sun hats and a Nurse from St Vincent’s offers healthcare.
Heatwaves cause more deaths in Australia each year than any other natural disaster, and have a greater negative impact on population health than any other natural hazard.
“The evolution of the Community Care Van project to distribute water and sun protection, came through discussions with St Vincent’s Hospital who highlighted a real need for preventative measure to help those sleeping on the streets during the summer months” explained NSW Branch Chairman David Hall AM. “Providing this service is very much aligned with our mission to assist the Lord’s poor and sick”.
On a ‘typical’ Summer night 35 bottles of water, 20 hats and 16 bottles of sunscreen are distributed by the Community Care Van to the Homeless.
During the winter months, the Van will return to distributing the Order’s Coats for the Homeless, water and healthcare to the city’s homeless population during the colder weather. Last winter the van typically distributed 40 coats on each ‘run’ until stocks ran out. Consequently the NSW Branch has increased its distribution volume to 3,000 Coats in 2016 to fulfil the demand from the patrons of the Community Care Van and the existing distribution network.
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