Cedar Rapids Salvation Army offers free cooling center for summe - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids Salvation Army offers free cooling center for summer

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On a hot summer day in Iowa, many people opt to spend time in an air conditioned home.

But for those who don't have access to a cool and comfortable place, the Cedar Rapids Salvation Army is stepping in.

The gym inside the building serves as the cafeteria year round, but in the summer, it doubles as a cooling center.

During and between free meals in the summer, the Salvation Army opens it's doors to people in need of some cool air.

"I decided to come check it out, especially since it was extremely hot," said Carmen Stevens of Cedar Rapids.

For her, it's a pleasant upgrade from other free meal providers.

"They were serving the lunches in the heat," Stevens said. "It's like, okay, bugs are getting on me now."

Which is why employees knew they had to offer comfort in addition to food.

"When it's above, around 90 degrees, I mean, it's just kind of horrible outside," said Jenna Salzbrenner, the special events assistant at the Cedar Rapids Salvation Army.

And guests, like Stevens, say the relief from that weather is enough to keep them coming back all summer long.

"Matter of fact," she said, "I'll be back tomorrow."

The cooling center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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