Get on and cool down! Phoenix city bus deployed as a cooling center

For over 20 consecutive days, Phoenix residents have been dealing with temperatures above 110°F, and the heat wave is especially dangerous for those who have nowhere else to go to escape the heat.

City officials, meanwhile, are now utilizing a city bus as a cooling center in order to help the homeless.

"People can get water and cooling towel and sit on the bus until about 7 o'clock tonight," said Michelle Litwin with the City of Phoenix Office of Heat Response and Mitigation.

The bus is parked near 10th Avenue and Jackson in Downtown Phoenix. Officials said the spot was picked because data shows the area has produced the highest volume of heat-related 911 calls since the start of the current heatwave.

"We keep seeing the extreme warning being pushed out and pushed out, so we're working on a daily basis, minute by minute, trying to account for how hot it is, and making adjustments, like bringing out cool buses, and work with our heat relief partners to extend hours, and being as adaptive as possible," said Litwin.

The nearby Human Services Campus provides 900 beds, and fills up daily. Outside, more than 1,000 people who couldn’t secure a bed sleep on searing sidewalks in makeshift dwellings.  

"People don't get a chance to cool off overnight. There's no place outside where the temperature is dropping below 90F," said Amy Schwabenlender, Executive Director of Human Services Campus. "There's been no rain. The wind, if it blows, is hot. What all of us who work here are most concerned about is how do we help people survive through this."

As of July 24, NWS forecasts call for the intense heatwave to end on Sunday.