The City of Toronto has issued its first extreme cold alert for the winter season of 2007/08 today. Many meteorologists with lots of computer power work together to make the call about extreme cold alerts, but the bottom line is that the weather can be deadly for those who are outside, such as homeless people.
The onset of winter, especially in the lead-up to the December holiday season, always prompts a renewed interest in the health of Toronto’s homeless. The sad reality, as Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, reported based on the results of a 40-year epidemiological study, is that more people die in the summer of heat and smog-related causes than in the winter from cold.
But it is especially cold out there today, so spare a thought for those who don’t have a choice about whether to be outside. And join with the Wellesley Institute and many others who are working on practical and effective strategies to end homelessness in Toronto.