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New Phoenix heat relief sites had 4,000 visits in 1st month

The city of Phoenix reports its heat relief sites have been staying busy amid triple digit temperatures. 

The city of Phoenix is  operating a 24/7 heat respite center for the first time this year at Burton Barr Library. The city also extended hours to 10 p.m. at three other library branches and added overnight hours at a south Phoenix senior center. In the first month since launching, those five new extended-hour and overnight sites have had nearly 4,000 visits.

Phoenix Office of Homeless Solutions deputy director Scott Hall said visitors can get out of the heat, but they can get other help, too.

“If they need utility assistance, if they need AC repair assistance, if they need homeless assistance, we can connect them to all those types of resources," Hall said. 

At the Burton Barr Library heat relief site, outreach workers have so far been able to connect more than 140 people experiencing homelessness with shelter or housing options, Hall said. 

"It's been a very welcomed program," Hall said. 

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Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.