• Darian Taylor

The Salvation Army Responds to Record-Breaking Heat Wave Across the Country

Heat Relief Services Provided Amidst Sweltering Temperatures

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- In the face of a historic and severe heat wave gripping the Southwest and various regions across the U.S., The Salvation Army has rapidly activated services to extend crucial assistance to people under excessive heat watches, warnings, and advisories. To combat unseasonably intense temperature spikes, dedicated personnel and volunteers from The Salvation Army are on the ground, distributing essential supplies like water, cooling packs, and sun protection to help combat the extreme heat and reduce its harmful effects on vulnerable individuals.

"As the summer heat intensifies, The Salvation Army will continue to serve and support those in need," said Kenneth Hodder, national commander of The Salvation Army. "We are providing relief and assistance to communities all across the country, making sure no one has to face these scorching temperatures alone. From the sweltering days to the warm nights, our goal is to lend a helping hand and provide essential resources, to help keep our neighbors safe this summer and beyond."

According to the National Weather Service, heat causes more deaths each year than any other weather event in the country. In some areas, unsheltered individuals account for nearly half of these deaths. These individuals face dehydration, sunburn, heat stroke, and infections from sweat-soaked clothing that goes unwashed.

In addition to providing tangible relief items, The Salvation Army is also activating cooling centers in various locations throughout the country. These centers offer a respite from the intense heat and provide a safe space for people to relax and cool down. Teams are also conducting outreach to check on older individuals, those with disabilities, and other at-risk individuals who may be more susceptible to heat-related health issues.

Examples of some of The Salvation Army's services across the country:

  • Dallas, Texas: The Carr P. Collins Social Service Center is being utilized as a cooling station, and more than 13 other locations nearby are also offering shelter, hydration, and snacks. 
  • Phoenix, Ariz.: Eight heat-relief stations and a mobile hydration units are being activated on any day the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat warning. Locations include Apache Junction, Avondale, Chandler, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Surprise, and Tempe. 
  • Las Vegas, Nev.: The Salvation Army has opened one of its facilities to provide residents relief from the heat. Those at the shelter will be able to take showers, do laundry, and stay hydrated while also having the chance to work with case managers for additional services and referrals.
  • New York City, N.Y.: Eight cooling centers are being launched in several neighborhoods including Tremont in the Bronx and Times Square to provide relief from the heat.
  • Omaha, Neb.: As temperatures are expected to skyrocket, The Salvation Army of Omaha has activated cooling centers and a summer fan program to help people stay cool and avoid heat-related illness.
  • Denver, Colo.: The Crossroads and Lambuth Family Centers are providing a number of resources in the Denver metro area including shelters to keep people hydrated and covered.
  • Wichita, Kan.: In addition to opening a cooling center for unsheltered individuals, The Salvation Army has also donated fans to Sedgwick County.

Not only is The Salvation Army serving those affected by the heat wave, but disaster professionals and volunteers are simultaneously responding to the unprecedented flooding in Vermont and the northeast. The Salvation Army Northern New England Division has provided meals, snacks, water, and has partnered with UPS to provide the community with 1,000 cleanup kits. To read more about the Salvation Army's service in Vermont, click here.

To learn more about staying safe in extreme heat, click here.

To learn more about The Salvation Army's response, visit salvationarmyusa.org. Additionally, if you'd like to support The Salvation Army's efforts to meet immediate and long-term needs, please call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

For media inquiries, please email mediarelations@salvationarmyusa.org.


Media Contact
Darian Taylor
Senior Manager, PR