Yakima church offers escape from the heat for those in need

YAKIMA, Wash. — A Yakima church is reaching out to the community to offer a cool place to get out of the heat this week and have access to free WiFi.

Wesley United Methodist Church pastor Rev. Shane Moore said with the church building already open, making sure it’s offered up as a safe place to shelter from the heat is the least they can do to help out.

“It is so easy for a church, a business and nonprofit just to say, ‘Hey, let’s get our name out there and tell people we’re here for them,'” Moore said. “And so for us, it’s just showing our neighbors we care for them and love them in a simple, easy way.”

The church is located at 14 N. 48th Ave. and will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the week during peak heat hours to make sure people who live in West Valley or are in the area at that time, can cool off.

Moore said they have a large air-conditioned space available for people to hang out and access to restrooms. He said there’s no bottled water because of the church’s commitment to the environment, but there’s a water fountain and pitchers of water available.

“We have a public WiFi network that we will share the password to so they can log on and just be here,” Moore said.

Moore said the Yakima Health District requested the church be a cooling station during last year’s record-setting heat wave. He said while only a few people took advantage of it then, they’re glad to offer up their space to help.

“Whenever a request comes out from the Yakima Health District, the city, the county, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services or any of those groups that care for our community, we want to step up,” Moore said.

According to the Yakima Health District, people wanting to cool down can also take advantage of the air conditioning at any of the Yakima Valley Libraries locations or the Yakima Valley Mall.

“This was so easy for us; I’m not trying to discount it, but I want to say it’s easy for people to step up,” Moore said. “So I would just encourage groups to step up and find little simple ways to care for one another.”


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