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Pima County, Tucson open 'respite centers' for relief from daytime heat

Pima County opened a new heat respite center Monday, adding to the nearly three dozen local facilities providing a cool place for those who need to escape the triple-digit heat.

The center is located at Kino Service Center, 2797 E. Ajo Way, and will be operated by the Pima County Health Department each year from May 15 through September 15, according to a memo sent to the members of the Board of Supervisors by Pima County Administrator Jan Lesher.

“Over the course of the pandemic, Pima County Health Department (PCHD) has recognized the importance of building community resiliency and providing targeted access to services within the community for multiple public health conditions,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, health department director, in the memo. “Extreme heat is both an emerging and present public health threat to Southern Arizona residents.”  

The location on Ajo Way will have supplies like sunscreen, water and COVID care kits, which include masks and a COVID test kit, for anyone who needs them. The center will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., except for county holidays.

The Kino Service Center joins the existing respite locations in the Tucson-area assisted by the city, the Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH) and nineteen libraries that have “historically provided informal respite,” according to the memo. Another facility may be opened in a matter of weeks at Tucson’s Rio Nuevo One-Stop Career Center on 340 N. Commerce Park Loop.

City-led locations are:

  • Donna Liggins Center – 2160 N. 6th Ave.
  • El Pueblo Center – 101 W. Irvington Rd.
  • Udall Center – 7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
  • El Rio Center – 1930 W. Speedway Blvd.
  • Randolph Center – 200 S. Alvernon Way
  • Clements Center – 8155 E. Poinciana Dr.

Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness locations are:

  • Salvation Army Hospitality House - 1002 N. Main Ave.
  • Salvation Army South Community Center - 1625 S. 3rd Ave
  • La Frontera - 1082 E. Ajo Way
  • La Frontera East Clinic – 4891 E. Grant Rd.
  • Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church - 2331 E. Adams St.
  • Z Mansion - 288 N. Church Ave.
  • Primavera HIP – 702 S. 6th Ave.
  • Sister José Women’s Center – 1050 S. Park Ave.

Library locations are:

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  • Oro Valley Public Library – 1305 W. Naranja Dr., Oro Valley
  • Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Library – 7800 N Schisler Dr., Marana
  • Nanini Library – 7300 N. Shannon Rd.
  • Flowing Wells Library – 1730 W. Wetmore Rd.
  • Woods Memorial Library – 3455 N. 1st Ave.
  • Joel D. Valdez Main Library – 101 N. Stone Ave.
  • Sam Lena – South Tucson Library – 1607 S. 6th Ave., South Tucson
  • Richard Elías Mission Library – 3770 S. Mission Rd.
  • Valencia Library – 202 W. Valencia Rd.
  • Kirk Bear Canyon Library – 8959 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
  • Murphy Wilmot Library – 530 N. Wilmot Rd.
  • Miller Golf Links Library – 9460 E. Golf Links Rd.
  • Martha Cooper Library - 1377 N. Catalina Ave.
  • Quincie Douglas Library – 1585 E. 36th St.
  • Eckstrom Columbus Library – 4350 E. 22nd St.
  • W. Anne Gibson-Esmond Station Library – 10931 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way
  • Caviglia Arivaca Library – 17050 W. Arivaca Rd.
  • Joyner Green Valley Library – 601 N. La Canada Dr., Green Valley
  • Salazar Ajo Library – 15 W. Plaza St., Ajo
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Pima County Health Dep't

Water will be one of the supplies available at Pima County's newly opened heat respite center on Ajo Way.