/ Modified jun 24, 2024 3:12 p.m.

Tucson receives new upcycled cooling center

The new cooling center is located at the Amazon Shelter on West Miracle Mile.

cooltainer phx A shipping container repurposed as a cooling center for unhoused individuals in Phoenix, Ariz.
Arizona Department of Administration

Two repurposed shipping containers are now open in Tucson to help the city’s unhoused population stay cool this summer.

The containers, nicknamed “cooltainers” are a collaborative project with the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Gov. Katie Hobbs’ Office. They have distributed 18 shipping containers in total throughout the state.

“The reason that containers were provided to Tucson, as well as other parts of the state, is the simple fact that we are heating up,” said Ernesto Portillo with the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

It’s also an effort to protect individuals experiencing homelessness from triple-digit temperatures this summer.

46 unhoused individuals died from heat exposure between June and October of 2023, according to the Pima Medical Examiner’s Office.

One of the two containers, located at 1135 W. Miracle Mile, has eight beds, and the other has board games, dominos, cards, adult coloring books, snacks, and hygiene items, according to Portillo. Both have TV’s, and should have WiFi access soon, he said.

The new center will also allow leashed pets, Portillo said.

The city of Tucson now has seven cooling centers throughout the city, open from noon to 4 p.m. until Aug. 31:

  • Donna Liggins Center, 2160 N. 6th
  • El Pueblo Center, 101 W. Irvington Rd., Building #9
  • El Rio Center, 1390 W. Speedway Blvd.
  • Freedom Center, 5000 E. 29th
  • Morris K. Udall Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
  • Randolph Center, 200 S. Alvernon Way.

The Miracle Mile location is open from noon to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday until Aug. 31.

MORE: Housing, News, Tucson
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