A PLACE THAT CAN HELP — The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia, along with The Bridge homeless shelter, is located at 434 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand.

With Central Florida facing extreme heat, the City of DeLand is opening a cooling shelter in cooperation with the Neighborhood Center of West Volusia.

The community room at The Bridge homeless shelter and day center, 421 South Palmetto Avenue, will be open to those needing a break from the heat. The community room will be open from noon to 6 p.m. beginning Friday through Wednesday August 23. Temperatures will be monitored and assessments will be made on whether the community room needs to remain open longer.

The Bridge will continue serving meals in that space at noon and 5 p.m. each day.

The shelter is being opened out of an abundance and concern for our homeless population as well other vulnerable residents who may not have access to cooling. DeLand Police are investigating two deaths of homeless individuals this week, though we cannot definitively say at this time whether heat was a contributing factor in either death pending the results of the autopsies.

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on steps people can take to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries or death during hot weather:

• Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as you can.
• Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.
• Schedule outdoor activities carefully. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and sunscreen. Pace yourself.
• Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
• Check on friends and neighbors and have someone check on you.
• Never leave children or pets in cars.

-Chris Graham


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here