ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A haven from the heat, the Arlington Life Shelter offers a warm meal and a cool bed to those in need.
“As soon as you open the door, the rush of cold air hits you. That is the best feeling,” said Chris Brown, who’s been sleeping at the shelter for about a month.
If not for his bed there, Brown isn’t sure where he’d go.
“I’d probably be burning to a crisp on a street corner,” he said.
With temperatures spiking over 100 degrees, the shelter has been drawing almost 100 people a night, many looking for relief from the warm nights.
“We’re pretty much the shelter in Arlington. So, anyone who lives in Arlington or Northeast Tarrant County who’s warm and needs to get cool – they’re here,” said executive director Becky Orander.
She worries, though, that she may not be able to keep residents cool much longer.
Last week, one of shelter’s eight air conditioners broke down. Another unit is on its last leg.
“It’s just like a domino effect. You lose one, and it puts strain on the next one, which puts strain on the next one,” she said.
The main rooms of the shelter are still cool, but supervisors have closed off a family room.
“It’s miserable in here,” says John Tadlock, one of the evening supervisors.
“I really don’t feel comfortable putting families in here.”
That heat is now creeping into the kitchen.
With repairs estimated at $8,000, administrators are hoping to find help soon.