Salvation Army and Metro Homeless Impact Division open heat relief shelter

Posted at 10:10 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 23:15:58-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's the first week of summer and already Nashville is experiencing a second heat wave.

For the first time in almost a decade, Nashville hit 100 degrees on Wednesday.

The heat so intense it's prompted organizations in the area to step in and help.

"The decision was made over the weekend that yes it seems like this is going to be sticking around for a little while, so let's go ahead and get procedures in place to open up the heat relief shelter when it's determined to be needed," the communications manager for the Salvation Army Misty Ratcliff said.

The Salvation Army alongside the Metro Homeless Impact Division is helping people cool off by offering a heat-relief shelter.

"Right now the trigger for us to open the heat relief shelter is going to be when heat indexes are forecast to be over 100 degrees," she said.

But the city's Office of Emergency Management has a different protocol for opening cooling shelters, which is why they remain closed.

In a statement a spokesperson for OEM said stations will open when the heat index reaches 110 degrees for a prolonged period of time and/or OEM is alerted to a spike in the number of heat-related illnesses in a specified area or specific time frame.

So far, heat-related illness calls have reached 70 since June 13. OEM tracks any heat-related illness call ranging from someone with complaints of overheating to heat stroke.

The Salvation Army will be opening its heat-relief shelter this weekend and will also be offering transportation assistance for those that need it.

Ratcliff said they'll also be sharing resources with the hope that people have more options for staying cool.

"Try to get them interested in our services and programs so that we can eventually get them into permanent housing so that maybe they won't need to visit the heat-relief shelter next year if it happens," she said.

Other places that provide relief from the heat are public libraries and metro parks community centers.