Cooling Centers- Interfaith Response to Extreme Heat

23 April 2023
cooling center

Over 75% of URI Cooperation Circles worldwide engage in climate action. Responding to rising temperatures and the needs of vulnerable people, the Arizona Faith Network CC (AFN) launched the Extreme Heat Cooling Center project in 2020.

The project transforms houses of worship to serve as “cooling centers” during the extreme heat season. The project began in Phoenix where each center served 50-120 people daily. Working with faith-based communities and the Heat Relief Network, the Arizona Faith Network is expanding its program in 2023 to counties with the most heat-vulnerable residents.

URI North America team encourages faith-based groups to consider how their community buildings can be used to serve people threatened with extreme heat and helps AFN and other groups strategize funding opportunities and ways to promote this project.

cooling center
Volunteers at one of the cooling centers

AFN requires nondiscriminatory practices in all the cooling centers and requires people not to be discriminated against based on age, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or familial status.

Joining URI in 2016, the AFN aims to build good relationships and to devote their collective action to bringing about positive social change.

Click here to see highlights of their work.