Why Not Confront The Sweltering Homeless With Frosty Love?

This image of Noel Coward is a thumbnail picture from a Youtube video linked within this post.

This summer of 2022, the media in Europe is replete with advice for mad dogs and Englishmen planning to go out in the midday sun1. Fortunately for Europeans, the “don’t-do-as-the-english-do”  advice sung from another era is a cautionary warning about the dangers of summer heat in an otherwise temperate region. While entertaining, the song Mad Dogs and Englishmen is a little short on how to deal with health- and even life-threatening dangers of hot weather. The media has accordingly stepped into the breach in many countries with cautionary advice.

In North America, continental summers are recognized as life-threatening, although there are tales every year of deaths caused by leaving people and/or pets in a hot unventilated car. (This year there is the bizarre tragedy of a bear that found its way into an unventilated car but could not find its way out again2.)

Common and familiar as dangerous summer heat may be in North America, there are some who are particularly vulnerable — people who are homeless. We are accustomed to thinking of health threats during extreme cold. But for those with no home, and quite often no daytime emergency shelter, hot days can also be life-threatening3.

Not so surprising then, that an agency, such as Canada’s Homeless Hub, would publish advice on how to support people who are homeless during weather ‘heat alerts.’

The primary value of the following article is its advice for assisting people who are homeless to handle heat events, and how to recognize dangerous signs and symptoms of heat exposure.

Even if your knowledge of heat management and heat health care needs no top-up, this article calls for a read thanks to its unusual ‘thinking outside the box’ approach to providing a homeless cooling service with personalized delivery. It’s worthy of admiration, if not emulation. Read more in The Homeless Hub: Beating the Heat on the Street

(For those who have never encountered Mad Dogs and Englishmen or want to hear it again, this production on YouTube: Mad Dogs And Englishmen is sung by Noel Coward — featured image above. Lyrics are available here.)


  1. Read in The Guardian: Why is it so hot in the UK and elsewhere in Europe and what are the dangers?
  2. The story from CNN: Bear dies after getting trapped in a hot car while searching for food in Tennessee
  3. There are heat health risks for housed people too, especially those without air conditioning, which deserve a post of their own.