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Summer isn't here yet, but one organization is already supporting unhoused people 55 and older

Summer isn’t here yet, but at least one organization that supports unhoused people ages 55 or older is already gearing up for our inevitable triple digit heat. 

For older adults experiencing homelessness, Justa Center in Phoenix is life saving, especially during the summer months. Rudy Soliz is the director of Operations. 

"Right now, we've been working on all of our outside equipment we're getting we're getting ready to fire it up this coming week. We have large evaporative coolers, very large evaporative coolers. We have canopies already set up for them. We're just staging coolers, water hoses. Everything is going to take to run all those big units for them all summer long," Soliz said. 

Last year, when the Valley experienced record-setting heat, members came to Justa Center with signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion, even heat stroke. 

"That's the scary part, when you see someone fall on the ground and go into convulsions and you don't know how dehydrated they are. And they don’t realize it until the moment they’re having that," Soliz said. 

There’s only so much Justa Center can do since they don’t offer overnight stays.

Soliz says they're asking donors for cooling wraps, sunscreen and cooling hats. Justa Center is also looking at possibly extending their hours depending on the severity of this summer’s heat.

Senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.