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Salvation Army partners with DART to help central Iowans find relief from the heat

With weather near triple digits, the Salvation Army provided a cooling center for those needing a break from the heat — and DART will help you get there.

DES MOINES, Iowa — When Tim Gantner with Salvation Amy woke up Tuesday morning and saw the temperature was expected to reach near triple digits, he knew what he had to do.

"I figured that is going to be hot. So people are going to need an opportunity to get out from the heat. And so we decided to send out the notice to folks that we are going to have a cooling station today," Gantner said.

Tuesday was one of the hottest days of the year with temperatures in the upper 90's. Many people in central Iowa may be looking for ways to cool off, especially those without access to a working air conditioning.

Whenever temperatures pass 95 degrees, Salvation Army opens their doors for people to keep cool, hydrate and grab a a snack — a resource one man says he's used for years.

Jim Clark has used Salvation Army's services for several years and says that with each year it gets harder and harder to handle the heat.

"Being older, for that matter, it's kind of hard to, you know, cool off. So, I mean, other than that...I don't have a swimming pool. It'd be nice," Clark said.

If you are unable to get to a cooling system, the DART transportation system is also here to help. 

The Chief External Affairs Officer with DART Erin Hockman says on days like these, DART offers free transportation to cooling centers.

"We certainly don't want cost to be a barrier to someone to get into safety inside, you know, a cool space when it is extremely hot outside. And so that's one of the ways that we can help an extreme heat," Hockman said.

If you are unsure of a cooling center near you, DART will take you to one.

"If somebody steps on a bus and they're not entirely sure where they need to go, and they just say they need to get to a cooling center, we'll be able to get them somewhere safe," Hockman said.

Even if it's not the hottest day of the year, the Salvation Army is still here to help.

"It doesn't have to be 95 degrees. If they want to come in and they want something to drink, they can come in anytime and we'll make sure they get something to drink," Gantner said.

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