Churches Serve Communities As Cooling Centers Amid Heatwave Along West Coast And Canada

air conditioned open cooling church center

Churches in the West Coast and Caanda are reportedly serving as cooling centers for communities suffering an ongoing heatwave.

The Christian Post (CP) said churches in Canada and the West Coast are stepping up to keep residents cool as dozens die across America due to the unprecedented heatwave. Some churches were even reported to give away air conditioning units.

According to CP, the Venture Church, the First Presbyterian Church, and the Trinity Baptist Church in Idaho have offered to be cooling stations for residents. While the West Seattle Christian Church has offered its gym as cooling center for their community especially after temperatures rose to 100 degrees the past week. Texas' Cornerstone Baptist Church were said to provide air conditioning units to residents of Dallas as part of their efforts in helping their community.

Seattle's weather was the first in 66 years as the state of Washington received an excessive heat warning until Tuesday. The temperature then returned to 90 degrees.

As per The Center Square (TCS), the City of Seattle wasn't prepared for the heat wave such that churches have opened to aid the demand for cooling centers. The city, with a population of 750,000, was only able to open 36 cooling centers that included 10 hygiene centers, six centers for seniors, and two for the homeless, as well as 30 beaches and pools. The city's residential units is said to be the nation's least installed with air conditioning units.

TCS added that cooling centers were not provided by the city due to vaccinations not administered yet for the pandemic. The city is able to provide cooling centers now but with a schedule only during the hottest times in the day, which is from noon to 6pm since mayor announced it is still searching for funds.

Meanwhile, CP said Cornerstone Baptist Church Pastor Chris Simmons revealed that they normally give out 150 air conditioning units each year but were stormed by phone calls due to the heat wave, such that they currently have requests for 250.

The church has been doing the program for seven years thanks to an unnamed donor who offered to provide the units after learning a woman died due to the lack of it. But with the unexpected demand, the church had to stop the program as it currently attends to existing requests.

"He made it his mission to provide A/C units to families that are in need, to make sure they would not have to perish that way again," Simmons disclosed on the donor during an interview with WFAA.

"Over the seven years of doing it, we have never hit a max where he says enough is enough," he added.

The church has announced through its voicemail that it will continue with their program come July 15, during which they hope to attend to the requests of others in the community who are also in need of air conditioning units.

In its report, the New York Times said the heat wave has killed 486 in British Columbia and 63 in Portland the past week.