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    Brussels nonprofits help city’s homeless cope with the heat

    Brussels NGOs have launched initiatives to help the city's homeless population cope with the soaring temperatures. Credit: © Belga

    As temperatures across Belgium begin their steep rise on Monday, charitable organisations in Brussels have announced measures to help the city’s homeless population cope with the heat and have better access to sanitary services and drinking water.

    The Samusocial organisation in Brussels announced it would launch its Heatwave Operation, after the Royal Meteorological Institute said Tuesday is expected to be the hottest day of the week.

    In order to avoid cases of dehydration among the city’s homeless population, volunteers will go on day and night shift walks around the city and distribute water bottles. Special attention will also be provided to elderly people, people with mental health problems or those with substance abuse issues who are sleeping rough on the streets of the Belgian capital.

    Food processing giant Nestlé donated 20,000 plastic bottles of water in support of the plan.

    The operation coincides with the launch of a separate initiative by Infirmières de Rue to display a map of free water fountains and toilets in the city.

    In association with the city’s public transport operator STIB, the initiative consists in displaying the maps in over 50 public transport stations in Brussels, with the aim of helping homeless people locate these facilities which “allow them to take care of their hygiène and health, despite their difficult living conditions.”

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times