The Show on KJZZ

Listen live weekdays at 9 a.m.

Churches offer 'heat-relief respite centers' where people can sleep for a few hours

Published: Monday, July 24, 2023 - 4:10pm
Updated: Monday, July 24, 2023 - 5:20pm

We’ve heard a lot about the Valley’s roughly 200 cooling centers. But some churches and nonprofits offer “heat-relief respite centers” where people can sleep during hours of operation.

There are less than two dozen heat-relief respite centers in the Phoenix area. These are places where people who are experiencing homelessness can sleep uninterrupted for several hours.

"When you're walking out, you know, at 10, 11, 12 o'clock at night, it's still so hot, there's not that ability for your body to cool down and actually get that restorative rest that it needs," explained Reverend Katie Sexton-Wood, executive director of Arizona Faith Network, which helps coordinate respite center locations.

The centers, however, are not open overnight, though some are open as late as 8 p.m. 

"They will ask you a few questions just to see if there's anything immediately that's needed, connect you to further services, give you that hydration, give you food, give you a mat to go lay down or invite you to sit at a table. We always have movies running every day."

Sexton-Wood says these respite centers are also pet friendly. 

More stories about Phoenix's heat wave

Climate Change Social Justice