ART cooling center provided relief from the heat over the weekend

Published 4:00 pm Monday, July 25, 2022

With temperatures spiking into the 90s for much of last week and weekend, Clark Countians needed relief from the heat, and a helping hand came for the folks at Achieving Recovery Together (ART).

Continuing a practice that started earlier this year, ART opened its doors as a cooling station for the general public late last week.

“Air conditioning is part of it, but we have a very large space in the upstairs of our building that has TVs, lots of chairs to spread out, snacks and water, those types of things,” said ART Program Director Lindsay Horseman. “[We] also [have] sort of a fellowship, or a quiet place. We have the ability to meet any range of what somebody is looking for.”

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While some may hear of a cooling center and think it is a temporary place to be relieved from the outdoor conditions – and it most certainly can be – options for a much longer stay during a particular day were also available.

“They come and stay as long as we’re open,” Horseman said. “We’re happy to have somebody until they can get somewhere else safe.”

ART provided transportation to places such as the Beacon of Hope Emergency Shelter if needed.

Those who wished to use the cooling centers were welcome to learn about opportunities at ART, just as any visitor would be.

“If anybody needs any resources, [we can] connect them with community services for the food bank or other resources in the community,” Horseman said. “If they’re not interested in any of those things, they can just come here and have a place to be cool and be safe.”

Previously, ART offered a service called a warming center for the winter.

The hours of operation were Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and 1:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

While the organization looks to continue promoting this service, acknowledging that getting the word out to those most in need has not been easy, the experience has also been rewarding.

“Certainly, people are supportive of the fact that we’re doing it,” said Horseman. “It is an opportunity to reach out to folks in the community.”