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Helping hands are extended to homeless suffering from heat

source:chinadaily.com.cn release date:2018/08/09 hits:22

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A worker uses a bottle of water to cool himself down at a construction site in Qingdao, Shandong province, August 3, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

Unlike many civil servants who enjoy an air-conditioned office, Zhan Shaobo cannot stay in the office even on the hottest days.

Zhan, from Hefei's downtown Luoyang district civil affairs bureau, in Anhui province, patrols the streets every workday searching for homeless people, for fear that they may be harmed by the scorching sun.

The city has been in the grip of a heat wave since late July, with afternoon temperatures often soaring to 38 C.

"Many of the homeless take shelter under bridges or in culverts, but we also find some wandering around on the streets and even lying on the scorching ground, and they could easily get heatstroke," he said.

In most cases, civil affairs officials bring the homeless to a city-run shelter. For those who are not willing to go, officials provide medicine, bottled water and instant food.

Once in the shelter, help is provided to relocate people if they had a previous residence, while others can stay in the shelter for as long as they wish to avoid the heat.

Since June, Zhan and his colleagues have helped two to three people a day, he said.

One day they found a man in his 60s lying on the ground with possible heatstroke. He could barely drink water. The man was sent to the hospital for treatment.

"Later we learned the man had quarreled with his family and ran away from home in Henan province with all his money, which he soon spent," he said.

After the man recovered, the shelter purchased his train ticket home and gave him some money.

The summer patrols will last until September, when the heat in the city usually recedes.