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MOSH mobilizes in heat waves to help those experiencing homelessness

Mobile Outreach Street Health's Becky Marval said this isn't just about making sure people are comfortable
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(stock photo)

When heat waves strike, several groups in the Halifax Regional Municipality swing into action to help the homeless and street involved survive the extreme temperatures.

Last Saturday under a heat warningx as temperatures soared above 30 degrees, the Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH) unit -- along with partner organizations -- distributed bottled water, sunscreen and hats to those in need.

MOSH team lead Becky Marval said this isn't just about making sure people are comfortable.

"If you are unable to maintain your core body temperature within a normal range, if you are too dehydrated and you are unable to cool yourself and stay out of the heat, eventually this could be fatal for folks," she explained.

MOSH also works with front line workers to help them identify signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, educating them on who is most at risk, like the old, young and those with chronic illnesses.

Marval said the group uses fundraising to buy their supplies, but they also accept donations.

"Donations allow us to stretch our funding much further ... ideally in somewhat larger quantities rather than one hat or one sunscreen item, but we would accept anything."

She added, although physical contributions can be dropped off at the MOSH office, it may be better to make donations at shelters around HRM, as her team is usually out on the street for their mobile outreach.


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