BOISE, Idaho — With record-high temperatures scorching much of the Northwest, two Idaho public health districts have issued excessive heat advisories and several cooling shelters have opened to help keep Idahoans cool during the heatwave.
Southwest District Health and South Central Health sent out advisories on June 25 after weather forecasts predicted several days in a row of high temperatures above 100 degrees.
Interfaith Sanctuary has been sharing information about cooling shelters as the heat wave continues, and said July 2 would be the last day for cooling shelters at the Boise Public Library's Hayes Auditorium and Cathedral of the Rockies.
Beginning Monday, July 5th, Interfaith is hosting a cooling shelter at the Linen Building at Grove and 14th streets. This shelter will operate from 12pm-8pm Monday through Friday.
Interfaith and Corpus Christi are also hosting weekend cooling shelter hours.
Boise Rescue Mission Ministries is hosting cooling shelters around the clock.
Some hours are changing for the week of July 5-11.
Below is a list of cooling shelters in the Treasure Valley. Locations and times will be updated as they're announced by officials:
- Boise Rescue Mission Ministries: 24-hours, Monday through Sunday
- Corpus Christi House: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday (New hours starting July 5: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday)
- Interfaith Sanctuary Housing Services: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Sunday
- Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St. in Boise: Open Noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday starting July 5
- Big Box Outlet Store at 352 Caldwell Blvd. in Nampa: Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Chairs, water, A/C and music provided.
- Caldwell Veteran's Memorial Hall: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Caldwell Public Library: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Caldwell Senior Center: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Meridian Library at Cherry Lane: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Nampa City Hall Lobby: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Nampa Recreation Center: Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
These shelters are an extremely valuable resource to those in the community without air conditioning, including those facing homelessness.
One of these people is Thurmond Albert, who came to Boise from Colorado in 2019. He understands the value of these shelters and the nuance of a homeless man's struggles.
"The problem of homelessness is not so much that they're homeless," Albert said. "But the weather."
Zachary Dick, who has recently found himself back on the streets within the past month, agrees.
"It was just about the beginning of this month that I found myself in this position," he said. "And if it wasn't for the misters I'd be pouring sweat. I'd feel like the wicked witch of the west. Like I'm melting."
It's stories like these that have made a lasting impact on Interfaith Sanctuary Executive Director Jodi Peterson-Stigers. When she saw the forecast, she knew she had to do something.
Peterson-Stigers made a call to the Cathedral of the Rockies to partner up for a cooling shelter.
"Jodi said, 'Hey, can you be a cooling shelter?' And we just said, 'Of course,'" Lead Pastor Duane Anders said.
"There was no hesitation," Peterson-Stigers said.
This shelter is just one of five different locations around Boise offering locals a place to cool down. It's assistance to those in need who look to get back up on their feet.
The National Weather Service is predicting triple-digit temperatures across much of southern Idaho from June 30 to July 7.
Public health officials say the heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States and they are urging people to take precautions and be safe.
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