Corps around New York City opened their doors to provide a welcoming safe, air-conditioned space to neighbors last week. Seniors, children, heat-wearied passersby, and others appreciated the much-needed relief from the oppressive weather. Emergency Services encouraged Corps to keep an eye out especially for the easily-overlooked in our midst; immigrant day laborers, those experiencing homelessness, and anyone who looks like they’ve been out in the sun too long.
Corps make up 19 of NYC’s 555 official cooling centers. These sites open to the public when specific weather conditions trigger the City’s heat emergency plans and are an essential part of how New York addresses extreme heat, the most significant cause of weather-related fatalities in the country. It’s a privilege for the Salvation Army to play a key role in this life saving effort.
Last week, at shorter notice than is usual, we opened cooling centers at Corps three days in a row. The previous week Brooklyn’s Brownsville Corps, under Captain Travis Barton’s leadership, not only provided a vital cool space, but also an on-street comfort Station. Staff and volunteers handed out bottles of ice-cold water under the welcome shade of Emergency Services canopies. Their effort was noticed and reported on by local news.About The Salvation Army