Shelter House Iowa City prepares for an increase demand in cooling shelters

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 5:37 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - During any time of the year, Shelter House has its doors open to those in need. But for circumstances as specific as the weather, they will expand their services.

“When the weather is going to be really hot, which we typically measure by heat index in the 90s, we keep the lobby open for folks to be able to come inside, to get water, to cool off, and to get out of the sun during the day,” said said Christine Hayes, Director of Development for Shelter House.

While they are used to dealing with the elements, they also acknowledge how different extreme temperatures in the winter are from extreme temperatures in the summer...especially for a mostly overnight shelter.

“In the wintertime, it’s most dangerous overnight because it gets the coldest overnight. In the summertime the most dangerous parts of the day are actually a time when Shelter House isn’t open for shelter guests,” said Hayes.

As we see temperatures around or above 90, Shelter House expects that need for cooling off to grow throughout the community.

While Hayes says they’ve never had an issue with over capacity in their lobby area, Shelter House is prepared to help anyone looking to get out of the sun in those extreme temperatures.

“We have other buildings, we have relationships with other organizations, but I can’t imagine that that would be a situation that we would face,” said Hayes.