St Vincent's help disadvantaged communities to beat the heat

St Vincent's help disadvantaged communities to beat the heat

28 Feb 2024

This summer, 新澳门六合彩官网开奖 launched Sydney's first pop-up cooling hub, offering respite from the heat for people living in social disadvantage.

St Vincent’s Homeless Health team have been responding to extreme heat for years now, delivering hats, water and sunscreen for people sleeping rough and at risk of homelessness. 

People experiencing social disadvantage who may be sleeping in a car, in a tent or on the street are far more exposed to extreme heat and at a much higher risk of experiencing heat related health events, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, both potentially fatal conditions. 

Following years of advocacy and dedicated research, in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology and Sydney University, January saw the launch of the St Vincent’s Homeless Health Cooling Hub. A dedicated space at Eddie Ward Park in Surry Hills, with plans to pilot at other inner city parks where people experiencing homelessness congregate. The Hub provides a safe escape from the harsh summer conditions, welcoming people and their pets who may be living rough or living in dwellings with no cooling system, which can sometimes be as simple as curtains to help keep the heat out. 

With support from the City of Sydney, the Hub is equipped to facilitate shelter from the elements and features cooling fans, spray mists, plenty of water and a place to rest or even sleep overnight - all while receiving health checks and ongoing medical observation until clients are deemed safe to leave. 

While clients are escaping the heat, it provides an opportunity for the St Vincent’s team to engage them in other health interventional strategies and wrap-around supports. 

The team activate the Cooling Hub when the temperature is forecast to reach 35 degrees or above.


heat hub

Photo courtesy of Fairfax