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Tempe to convert cooling center to city resource center

Sep 30, 2023, 7:15 AM

City of Tempe/Facebook photo

PHOENIX — When a cooling center is no longer needed, what do you do with it? Well, Tempe has a plan for one of its own.

The city will begin repurposing its cooling center at EnVision Center, at Rural Road and Apache Boulevard, starting Saturday. Some of the resources Tempe hopes to provide include helping residents excel their economic empowerment, health and wellness, character and leadership and educational advancement.

“During this record-breaking heat season, our cooling centers played a vital role for people who needed to cool down, hydrate and talk with staff about any resources they might need,” said Tempe Mayor Corey Woods. “Now, we’re excited to fully bring the EnVision Center to life with programming that helps individuals, youth, families and older adults thrive.”

Tempe is part of the region’s Heat Relief Network and all of the cooling and respite centers will close on Saturday. In nearly four months of operation, the EnVision Center hosted almost 6,400 people after being opened in June.

“We want our residents and local partners to help us shape this unique center to strengthen our community,” said Tim Burch, Community Health and Human Services director. “This center will be an asset for the entire community.”

The center is built around two distinct but interconnected concepts. First, it is a one-stop hub for resources that can help residents in their day-to-day lives, whether helping write a resume or getting connected with the city’s preschool program. The other is that “the city wants to empower residents through a local approach to emergency preparedness,” said Eric Iwersen, Office of Sustainability and Resilience director.

“We’re working toward enabling this center to be a Resilience Energy Hub,” he said. “That means everything from offering heat relief during the summer to providing a safe place to go if there is a power outage in your neighborhood.”

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Tempe to convert cooling center to city resource center