600 people use new Arizona cooling centers in first two weeks
In the first two weeks of operation, just fewer than 600 people used the new cooling centers established by Gov. Katie Hobbs' extreme heat emergency declaration last month, according to data obtained by Axios Phoenix.
Why it matters: The cooling centers, which are available on weekends and stay open later than most other Valley centers, have provided life-saving respite to unhoused people and those without working air conditioning.
Yes, but: They opened on Aug. 12, more than half-way through our extreme heat season and almost two weeks after the longest heat wave in Phoenix history ended.
- Maricopa County has confirmed more than 100 heat-related deaths in July and the medical examiner is investigating another 200-plus suspected heat deaths from the heatwave.
Of note: Although the two new cooling centers have longer hours than most other indoor relief options, they are not open overnight — the resounding ask from local officials and homeless services providers this summer.
- The only overnight cooling center is the Brian Garcia Welcome Center at the Human Services Campus.
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