SAN MARCOS — Every summer, the Southside Community Center opens a Community Cooling Center that is available to anyone who is trying to beat the heat.
Cooling centers are typically set in motion once temperatures are forecast to 100°+ for more than three hours.
Texas endured a heat wave of significant proportions this summer. These higher temperatures have created health issues for several residents while impacting the lives of millions. Extreme weather cost the economy billions. Over a longer period of time, economic consequences will be created due to the increase in persistent temperatures, according to data analyzed by The Perryman Group.
“It’s really hot outside, I think it’s everybody knows, but not everybody has air conditioning, or not everybody has a place that they can go,” President of the Board of Directors for Southside Community Center, Todd Salmi said.
The Cooling Center is open every day, seven days a week between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. with a free community meal provided every day at 4 p.m.
“That’s typically the hottest part of the day and so we open and let our neighbors come in,” Salmi said. “They can hang out in our gymnasium; they can get something cool to drink, we will have snacks for them, if there’s something else that they might need, we can provide that.”
For Director of Operations, Deborah Villalpando, helping the community has always been the top priority.
“We are here for everyone and want to make sure everybody is safe and all hydrated,” Villalpando said. “Definitely want to give back to the community.”
Students are invited to experience the Cooling Center and take advantage of the resources being provided.
“I would like to invite anyone that has never even heard or seen outside just to stop by and see what you know, what we do and visit our shelter,” Villalpando said.
Students can also volunteer to help give back to the community.
“Also, you know, if they are either looking for a place to volunteer or if they have student organizations that want a place to give back, you can reach out to us,” Salmi said.
The Southside Community Center is located at 518 S Guadalupe St. and may be contacted at (512) 392-6694.
For more information on volunteering, visit the Southside Community Center website.
Featured Image by Desiree Miranda.
Written by: Preethi Mangadu