Calgary, Alberta – The Mustard Seed is gearing up for the heat and counting on the generosity of Calgarians to provide life-saving bottled water to more than 3,000 individuals facing homelessness this summer.
Those of us who have easy access to shelter indoors have experienced the effects of rising temperatures – an occasional headache, inability to sleep and unquenchable thirst. For those experiencing poverty and homelessness a heat wave is much worse, becoming a matter of life or death. The unpleasant, but mild effects the general population experience during a heat wave easily turn into heat exhaustion, heat stroke and sometimes death for those lacking basic resources and shelter.
“During hot days, when it’s 25+ degrees, we give out bottled water to just about every guest that comes in, so that’s probably around 130+ bottles a day during those days,” says Josiah Swaim, Street Level Team Lead at The Mustard Seed’s 102 building downtown.
Staying hydrated and seeking cool shelter are key in preventing heat-related health problems, yet they are the biggest challenges people face in the summer months while living through homelessness. Between walking long distances to find shelter, heavy labour jobs and having to carry all their possessions wherever they go – drinking enough water just isn’t a priority for most guests that go through The Mustard Seed.
This is where Calgarians have the opportunity to make a real difference. A donation of bottled water today will help The Mustard Seed meet the basic needs of our most vulnerable citizens during potentially harmful heat waves.
“When we can give a bottle of water to someone who comes to our door or someone on the streets, it gives them one less worry on a hot day,” says Josiah Swaim. “It’s all part of treating people with compassion, which is what we strive to do here at The Mustard Seed.”
Offering a bottle of water goes beyond providing relief from the heat – it builds hope and wellbeing for people seeking help at The Mustard Seed and connects every day Calgarians to its vision of supporting individuals experiencing homelessness toward sustainable life change. It’s a way to show love, respect and value to those who need it most.
Water donations can be dropped off at The Mustard Seed downtown location.