Mesa city outlines heat plans, local ministry hopes to double heat efforts

Lillian Donahue
3 Min Read

MESA, AZ — After record heat-related deaths in Maricopa County last year, cities and local community centers are gearing up for another scorching season.

On Monday night, Mesa city leaders outlined their heat-relief plan, which includes three cooling centers and one full-day respite center that will provide food, shelter, clothes, social services and more.

City leaders also discussed the staggering 645 heat-related deaths across Maricopa County last year.

More than 50 people died as a result of heat in Mesa.

Mayor John Giles says he hopes the date will help city leaders better plan and reach out to those in vulnerable communities.

“I’m anxiously looking to finding out how and where those people died and looking forward to What we can do in addition to what we’ve done previously to reduce that total,” Giles said.

Deputy Director of Community Services, Lindsey Balinkie, urged people to look into how they could qualify for emergency repairs to their homes to stay safe this summer through the Emergency Rehabilitation Program with grant funds up to $25,000.

For those who are unsheltered and headed into the hottest time of the year, Resurrection Street Ministry at 1135 E. Main Street is running the city’s only Day Respite Center and will run starting at the end of May until 7 p.m. each day.

Executive director Bill Berry said the center was packed full last year with people looking to get out of the deadly heat.

“We were full every day,” Berry said. “There’s always been an effort, but I think people are more attuned now that there’s so much more need.”

Through volunteers and community partnerships, Berry plans to double the heat-relief services, increasing cots from 40 to over 100 and expanding the center from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet.

One partner coming into the respite center is Mark Dye, who has a non-profit dedicated to packing and distributing blessing bags with essentials and water.

“Trying to do over 1,000 bags this year alone and with using the Resurrection Street ministries heat relief center I believe we’ll reach that fairly easy,” Dye said.

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Lillian Donahue ,
Mesa News , 2024-04-02 05:14:34

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