Jun 29, 2016

Climate Change’s Growing Impact On People Experiencing Homelessness

Los Angeles, CA
USA
by
Ryan Koronowski
,
ThinkProgress
José Guadalupe Garcia is from Toluca, Mexico. When this photo was taken he was living on the streets of Southern California. Photo: RussLoar, Flickr
José Guadalupe Garcia is from Toluca, Mexico. When this photo was taken he was living on the streets of Southern California. Photo: RussLoar, Flickr

The seemingly unending and sometimes fatal heat waves gripping large portions of the United States this month can be bad for those who are able to find shelter indoors. It is even worse for those experiencing homelessness.

The impacts of climate change are already being felt by people across the planet, most of whom can seek shelter and use their resources to try to cope with heat waves, extreme downpours, stronger storms, more intense flooding, worse drought, and air pollution.

Those who lack shelter and even basic resources or support networks are already among the most vulnerable people on the planet, and when those stressors are made worse or more unpredictable by human-caused climate change, organizations struggle to keep up...

During heat waves, shelters see a spike in visitors. City emergency managers in Los Angeles — noting the particular threat to homeless populations — sounded the alarm during the historic heat wave the Southern California experienced last week