Overnight heat relief center opens in Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Overnight heat relief center opens in Memphis

(WMC-TV) - The city of Memphis' first overnight cooling shelter opened Thursday as a heat wave persisted.

The shelter officially opened at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and will provide shelter on a first come first serve basis until 8:00 a.m. Friday.

Pamela Roosevelt was the first person through the door when the city of opened an overnight heat relief shelter at the Foote Homes Community Center.

"I'm grateful," said Roosevelt.  "I thank God."

The thermostat was set at a comfortable temperature as Roosevelt tried to recover from another day baking in the oven-like outdoors.

"Tremendous," said Roosevelt.  "I mean, just outrageous.  My body couldn't take it so I came here."

Roosevelt came to tears talking about how she ended up without a place to stay cool.  She only said it was "complicated."

Mayor A C Wharton's office said the shelter will likely remain open as long as the heat wave persists.  That may be through the weekend if there are triple digit temperatures or a heat index greater than 100 degrees.

The center is staffed by Red Cross volunteers  who are providing water and food.

"It's so hot outside, the humidity," said volunteer Penny Reese.  "So we're trying to give people a place to get cool and have something to drink and eat."

Unlike a library or community center, the heat relief center provides a safe place for people like Roosevelt to spend the night.

The address of the emergency heat relief center is 578 Mississippi Boulevard.

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