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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Cooling Centers Open To Help People Stay Safe In The Heat

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) –Summer hasn’t even officially started but temperatures are soaring, which poses a threat for the elderly and those without a place to...

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) –Summer hasn't even officially started but temperatures are soaring, which poses a threat for the elderly and those without a place to cool down. Luckily, several local organizations are offering help.

The Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center has been handing out fans to seniors in need this week, after receiving a donation from Home Depot.

Fayetteville Senior Center director Cayla Wilson said each day the center delivers meals on wheels. While they are there, they check to make sure the air conditioning is working in the seniors' homes.

“We’re taking extra precautions to make sure everyone has a fan, has their air conditioner going and is very aware to stay hydrated and to not be out in the heat,” Wilson said.

Joyce Gilly is one of the seniors whom the center checks on daily, and she said the visit is always appreciated.

“It’s a good thing, it’s a real good thing,” said Gilly. "I just can’t say thanks enough to the people that bring them to me, you know?"

The Salvation Army in both Bentonville and Fayetteville will be open as cooling stations on any day when the feels-like temperature is 95 degrees or higher. They are open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., which is when the night shelter opens.

“We have a lot of moms with kiddos who are just walking around the city, and when it gets really hot this is a place for them to come,” said Lindsey Strong. "We have cold water, we have snacks, so it’s a great place for them. We have some elderly people who may not be able to make it through those hot times."

Seven Hills homeless center in Fayetteville will also be open to people looking to cool off Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.