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Community groups open cooling centers across Spokane

A coalition of Spokane organizations has opened cooling centers around the city.

The centers, indoor and outdoor, are passing out water, food and other supplies to help both housed and unhoused people survive the heatwave.

Emily Peters, a member of the Human Rights Activist Coterie of Spokane, one of the groups assisting with the cooling centers, says the goal is to be an example for city government.

The city has not opened any new cooling centers this summer, but has extended the hours of several public libraries to allow people to shelter there.

She says the city’s plan isn’t enough.

“Part of our goal is to demonstrate that an approach like this, a multi-faceted approach where we're in many locations, providing indoor, outdoor mobile, etc. resources is effective and does save lives and that is the kind of model we want to see from the city.”

In addition to opening cooling centers themselves, the group has also sent a letter to the mayor asking for emergency funding for firefighters so they can send more paramedics into the community. They’re also asking for more city funded cooling centers with both food and clean drinking water.

Peters says those looking to donate supplies should go to the Carl Maxey Center.

The Central Library in Downtown Spokane, the Shadle Park Library on Wellesley Avenue, the Liberty Park Library on Pittsburg Street and the Hillyard Library on Cook Street will all be open this week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A map, created by the Cool Spokane coalition, of all cooling resources is available here.