SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In anticipation of high temperatures in western Massachusetts this weekend, the City of Springfield will offer a number of cooling centers.
Cooling centers can be crucial to vulnerable populations like the elderly and the homeless. Bill Miller of Friends of the Homeless emphasized the need for cooling centers since most shelters in the area don’t have air conditioning.
“In the intense cold, people need to be in. People don’t often think that,” he told 22News. “In the summertime, when the heat is just so bad it’s tough to be outside.”
Here is a list of cooling centers in Springfield:
- Mason Square Library, located at 765 State Street
- Kenefick Park Fitness Center
- Forest Park Conference Room
- Indian Orchard Citizens Council, located at 117 Main Street
- Greenleaf Community Center, located at 1188 Parker Street
- South End Community Center, located at 99 Marble Street
It’s important to note that these locations may be different than in past years due to the pandemic. Each location will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday.
“I wanted to make sure that I can continue to provide for my residents whether young and old. this extreme heat can lead not only to health situations but could lead to other different situations and all it takes sometimes is a cool area where you can talk things out.”Springfield Mayor Sarno
The six sites can only accommodate 25 people at a time due to COVID-19 safety guidelines and people will be asked to socially distance. To access the sites, face coverings will also be required.
Staff will be asking for names, phone numbers, and addresses in case a person needs to be contacted in the event they were exposed to coronavirus.
The typical locations are being used as feeding sites for Springfield Public Schools and senior centers aren’t open so the city found alternative sites.