Lorenzo Pearson hung a rug over the fence next to his tent. At midday, as the sun rises directly over 12th Street in Phoenix, Arizona, it casts light on a dash of shadow. “Last week we had three deaths in a row,” he says. The heat has become too intense for the homeless who live here in tents along the way.
Twice a week the entire tent camp should go to the side, and then the broom cart would pass across 12th Street. “Sometimes the tent stays there, and the police go and see what’s going on,” Pearson says. Then they find the body.
In 2020, in Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located, 323 people died as a direct result of the heat. This year, the city has already surpassed that number by mid-July. Heat records have been broken again in America’s hottest city. continues west of the country Fourth heat waveموجة from this season. After the hottest June on record, July is already historic.
Cooling from April to October
When Stacey Champion stands on 12th Street, there’s hardly anyone in sight. But as soon as you start unloading the first cans of water, the tents open and the street fills up. Stacy calls herself a “heat activist,” and struggles to get more attention to the deadly heat problem. “Heat is a silent killer, it happens inside. Your organs fail, you sink, and no one notices you’re dying.”