TheVoiceOfJoyce Phoenix has always been hot, not as hot as last year when 456 people died from the heat. Heat deaths are up 36% from last year and people being evicted and forced to live on the streets is partially causal. The number of people forced out of homes by rising rents, has risen to 1000’s. Honolulu has a similar problem and they’re looking at all the factors contributing to heat deaths with a target of Zero deaths. They’re looking at all the factors leading to heat death: lack of affordable housing, homelessness, substance abuse, inflation,inadequate shade. After assessing the data, Honolulu will provide solutions to reach Zero heat deaths. Community heat deserts can be alleviated with Community involved plantings during cooler months. Cities can negotiate a moratorium on evictions during these economically difficult times. The poor vulnerable heat extremes disproportionately more than those living in more gentrified areas. The poor people deserve a life, too!

Tackling the complex and interconnected issues that increase the risk of heat emergencies – lack of affordable housing, homelessness, substance misuse, inflation, inadequate shade and rising temperatures – will take time, money and political will.

In the meantime, Hondula’s heat team will be diving into the data from 2022 to figure out which services or interventions saved lives and should be expanded, and which should be reformed or scrapped.

Hondula added: “This is not where we want to be; our goal is zero deaths.”

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