AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — The City of Aurora hosted its first ever cooling shelters over the hot weekend to test and see the need and who all would use them.

“We decided we need to have some services when the days are extremely hot and the conditions are dangerous,” Emma King, the Homeless Program Liaison for the City of Aurora, said.

King said last year the city tried to start the Cooling Shelter program, but temperatures never got hot enough to do so. She said this year, in order for doors to open at a handful of libraries and shelters, the temperature needs to be over 99 or 100 degrees.

“Hopefully in the future, we can expand that a little bit to temps like 96 degrees, which is still really hot,” King said.

FOX31 and Channel 2 visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Library location, where several people were hanging out both outside and inside and asking for water.

“It’s really good, ’cause its hot outside and sometimes I have no where to go,” Tracy Silva, who is experiencing homelessness, said.

Silva said she’s been experiencing homelessness off and on for about two years. She said she appreciates the library opening its doors so she can read a book and have some water.

“I’ve been dealing with it, getting jobs here and there getting motels when I can, and staying with friends or family. It’s hard, you know,” Silva said.

King said at these cooling shelters will offer air conditioning, water, food and, in some cases, sunscreen. She said the goal is to also offer people coming in resource options for jobs and housing.

“We are having our outreach team go out and anyone they run into they let them know they have an AC cooling station available,” King said.  

Aurora cooling centers open

Aurora opened cooling centers on Saturday and Sunday at the following locations:

  • Aurora Public Library (Central): 14949 E. Alameda Parkway
    • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Sunday: Closed
  • Hoffman Library. 1298 Peoria St.
    • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Sunday: Closed
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Library. 9898 E. Colfax Ave.
    • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Sunday: Closed
  • Aurora Day Resource Center, 13387 E. 19th Place
    • Saturday and Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Please note that the Aurora Day Resource Center is the only Emergency Cooling Station open Sunday.

Learn more information on Aurora’s cooling centers here.

Denver cooling centers open

Denver is also offering some of its public facilities to help people keep cool.

Denver said all currently operating recreation centers will be open to the public as cooling stations during regular business hours. No fees will be required.

The city urged people to check the hours before visiting a recreation center, as weekend hours vary.

Some Denver Public Library locations will also be open as cooling centers, except for the Central Library, the Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library and Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library.