Cooling shelters to open across the Lowcountry

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)– Summer is here, and the temperatures are rising, almost reaching the triple digits. Many people experiencing homelessness are looking for ways to cool off this season, but thanks to several local organizations, they may not need to look any further.

On Monday, local organizations and state leaders held a press conference to discuss several plans to help people without air conditioning have somewhere to keep cool in this scorching heat. 

Board members from the community resource centers, state representative Wendall Gilliard, and Operation Cool Breeze all came together to make the centers available for those who do not have access to air conditioning. 

On Tuesday, the cooling centers will open at the North Charleston, Summerville, and Hollywood resource centers. The centers will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. throughout the summer.

The facilities are open to the public but mainly target the unhoused, veterans, and older people. Volunteers will also distribute food, hygiene products, and baby essentials at the shelters daily. Fans and a/c units will also be available for those who qualify. 

Officials said they want to help those in need, and they believe that by targeting the heat issues, they will do just that. 

“Here is a little secret that nobody wants to talk about, but we have a lot of mothers living in their cars here in a low country, and we want to give those mothers a break. Those children need to come in and relax. We need to update them, and this is all about we care about our kids, we care about our students, we care about our veterans, we care about our elderly, and with this heat index like it is, some people need to cool down. And we are offering that to them,” said Louis Smith, the executive director of Community Resource Centers.

The resource centers:

North Charleston:3947 Whipper Barony Ln, North Charleston, SC 29405

Summerville: 116 W 2nd North St, Summerville, SC 29483

Hollywood: 1575 Savannah Highway #6, Charleston, SC 29407