As temperatures soar Western Washington’s homeless population is more vulnerable than ever.
Monday morning, the Salvation Army opened a cooling shelter inside Seattle City Hall.
A recent Yale University study found people suffering from certain mental health challenges were three times more likely to die during a heatwave.
It also found more than half of heat-related deaths involved illegal drugs.
“Yeah. Well, we know that some of our community struggles with addiction. They’re out there. They’re using, you know, they end up falling asleep, becoming unconscious on in conscious excuse me, on the streets. And that can lead to severe sunburn, dehydration in several different medical emergencies happening within a matter of hours,” said the Director of Shelter Programs at the Salvation Army, Arlene Hampton.
When we stopped earlier Monday afternoon, the shelter was empty, but the Salvation Army said they will keep this cooling station open for as long as it’s needed.
There are also several cooling centers in the South Sound where you can get out of the heat.
First United Methodist Church and Common Good Tacoma are offering cooling in their building.
You can also get free water and shelter at the GHP Fish Food Bank in Gig Harbor.
YMCA’s in Pierce County are open as well and no membership is required. Pierce Transit is providing free rides to cooling centers Monday to Wednesday and says the round trips are available for passengers who tell the driver they are traveling to or from a cooling center.
Snohomish County is offering over 30 cooling centers. A map can be found here. You can also check any local library. Most are open Mondays through Saturdays during the day.
In Everett, you can go to the Carl Gipson Senior Center. The Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo is open every day. And the Stilly Valley Center in Arlington is open Monday through Friday.
Or if you’re down for a bit of action Check out the Comeford Spray Park in Marysville.
The Department of Health also has a map on its website to find cooling centers near you.
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