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Evaporating Art Reminds Us Extreme Heat Can Kill People Sleeping Rough

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Installations from CPB London drives people to the Single Homeless Project website to find tips on how to help the homeless during extreme temperatures

Evaporating Art Reminds Us Extreme Heat Can Kill People Sleeping Rough

As climate modellers sound the alarm for a second 40°C peak in August - and with UK heatwaves as much as 10 times more likely now according to the Met - water-activated street installations today appeared around London. They highlight the dangers those experiencing homelessness face when fresh, cooling water is not just a kitchen tap away.

Invisible to the eye until splashed with water, the guerrilla-style pavement art then looms into view to reveal someone lying on the ground with the message ‘No Home. No Water.’ As the water evaporates, the image slowly disappears. The stunt reminds us all of the risks Londoners forced to live on the streets face during a heatwave. 

Tonia Murphy, regional head of rough sleeping services from Single Homeless Project, the charity behind the installations, commented, “Just as with extreme cold, anyone sleeping rough is at risk during a heatwave. Severe sunburn, dehydration and heatstroke are all real risks. If you have no home, you can’t just grab a glass of water from your kitchen to cool down. We help one Londoner at risk of or experiencing homelessness every hour and as the city heat continues, we’re working hard to help people off the streets and into a place to call home. We can all do our bit to help a fellow Londoner who might be struggling by asking how they are, offering water, sun cream or an umbrella for shade.”

Single Homeless Project is using the installations – created in partnership with CPB London - to drive people to for tips on how to help those experiencing homelessness during high temperatures and to donate to help people off the streets and into a safe, welcoming and cool place to call home.

A recent study found that London had the highest heat-related mortality rate of anywhere in the UK. Local authorities across the country last week launched Severe Weather Emergency Protocols (SWEP) after the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued a level three heat alert for the heatwave. The measures include increasing outreach shifts, outreach patrols doing welfare checks and handing out sunscreen and water as well as directing people sleeping rough to cool spaces. 

Helen James, MD of CPB London, the creative agency that developed the idea, and long-term partner of the charity, commented, “Heatwaves aren’t going away – climate scientists have now said we’re officially no longer a cold country. It’s therefore crucial we raise awareness of the dangers of heat on the street, not only the risk rough sleepers face in winter. We can all do our bit to check in on someone, help them to stay cool and donate to a charity helping to end homelessness in London.”

The ‘No Home. No Water’ art appeared in central London this morning at locations including: Parliament Square, Upper Street in Angel, Shoreditch High Street, Spur Street in Waterloo and Tooley Street in London Bridge. Along with the evaporating installation is a series of ‘reverse graffiti’ pavement art. Water jets were used to remove dirt from the surface, leaving behind the image and ‘No Home. No Water’ message. The art will remain viewable for several days.

Every year, Single Homeless Project helps over 10,000 Londoners to leave homelessness behind, to be seen, to be heard, and find a place to call home. 

Find out how you can help and donate to Single Homeless Project here

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Categories: Corporate, Social and PSAs, Charity

Crispin Porter + Bogusky London, Mon, 01 Aug 2022 12:52:20 GMT