Spaces and places to help ease the pain of this unbearable heat in Wichita
The City of Wichita along with other organizations are trying to help ease the pain of this unbearable heat.
"A lot of outdoor activities probably aren't a safe thing to do today," Director of Libraries for the Wichita Public Library, Jaime Prothro said Tuesday. "One of the things we wanted to make sure that residents understand is that the library is a resource for them anytime, especially in inclement weather, where we have extreme cold or extreme hot weather," Prothro added.
Ways to beat the heat include utilizing the Wichita Public Libraries and the Neighborhood Resource Centers. These are spaces welcome to everyone. They provide comfortable seating, technology, entertainment and air conditioning, with no questions asked.
".... but because we have a heat wave this week, it's very important for people to know where we are located and the type of services that we offer to the community. We are a Neighborhood Resource Center combined with a library, so we bring all of those services together," Ana Lopez, the Community Services Representative for District 6 and the Manager for the Neighborhood Resource Center sector at the Evergreen Community Center and Library said Tuesday. "We have a large area where moms can bring their kids. It's a good way for kids to step out of the house, but still manage to stay safe from this hot weather that we are having."
Hours, events and locations for the Wichita Public Library can be found on their website.
The spaces above are ways residents can keep cool, similar to a city bus.
"If you are walking or riding a bike. It's definitely a lot better," Benjimen Pirkey, a frequent bus rider said Tuesday. "I can think of a lot of people out here that (could) probably take advantage of that."
"Beginning Tuesday, July 19, residents may ride Wichita Transit for free until the end of the day Saturday, July 23. City buses and trolleys have air conditioning and Wi-Fi, and residents are invited to utilize buses as a way to beat the heat. Officials will reevaluate on Friday, July 22 to extend free rides. Routes and other information are available on wichitatransit.org," the City of Wichita shared in a press release Monday.
Heat relief throughout Wichita is also meeting people on the streets, like what the ICT Street Team provides.
"We are doing medical care for anyone who is homeless and doesn't have insurance," Mandy Griffin, the Director of Operations for the ICT Street Team said Tuesday. "Water is going to be the number one thing to keep people healthy and safe over the next couple days, and really the next few weeks, as the temperatures get higher and higher. They don't really have options to escape the heat. They can't go in and cool off very many places. Options are limited."
The team of volunteers also hands out supplies, like electrolyte packets, snacks, socks and cold water.
"I think it's very important. It has to be done... It really does," a Wichita resident named Wolf who is a client of the ICT Street Team shared.
"The ICT Street Team will continue to be out at various times daily checking on people, passing out cold water and electrolyte packets and addressing any medical concerns as they arise. The Wichita Homeless Outreach Team will also be passing out water and connecting unhoused residents with open shelters and services," the City of Wichita said.
Griffin says the team is out (at the southwest corner of the Walmart parking lot) at Pawnee Street and Broadway Avenue every Tuesday from 1p-3pm and are downtown at Third Street and Topeka Street from 6:30pm-8:30pm on Thursday evenings.
The City of Wichita says the city’s three Neighborhood Resource Centers are participating in Alliance of Overlooked Neighbors’ Hydration Awareness Month event that goes through July 24. The Neighborhood Resource Centers have water and air conditioning for anyone who needs it. You can find our neighborhood resource centers at:
- Atwater, 2755 E. 19th St N.
- Colvin, 2820 S. Roosevelt St.
- Evergreen, 2601 N. Arkansas.