Summer is heating up, and for those in the community who are homeless or without access to proper air conditioning, many of their usual places for relief are closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Wilis Dady Homeless Services says it wants to convert the Fillmore Center in Northwest Cedar Rapids from an overflow shelter to a cooling station starting this week. Temperatures in the 80s and 90s are prevalent in the coming days, so this is the perfect time to make the change, they tell KCRG.

The matter was brought up Monday in a meeting of the Linn County Supervisors and will be put to a vote on Wednesday, July 1. They are awaiting further information on costs associated with operating the center as a cooling shelter, and looking to other places like the Salvation Army who may be able to open up to offer a similar service before making their decision. With libraries closed and many churches opening on only a limited basis, the usual spots community members in need would go for relief are mostly unavailable.

The need for these spaces is on the rise now because of an unfortunate increase in homelessness in the community, as noted by Phoebe Trepp, Wilis Dady executive director.

The main drawback, she says, of using Fillmore is it's not the most centrally located place. But if it's available and feasible, every little bit helps. Here's hoping all in our community can find relief from the oncoming heat.

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