ACE Center Opens as Cooling Center for Homeless - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

ACE Center Opens as Cooling Center for Homeless

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ACE Center in Seaford (Photo: WBOC) ACE Center in Seaford (Photo: WBOC)

SEAFORD, Del. - Amidst the extreme heat recently, cooling centers have opened across Delmarva. One in particular, at the ACE Peer Resource Center, is welcoming the area's homeless.

The center opened this weekend to around 100 people looking to escape the sun. Not only is there air conditioning, but visitors can get cold water, food and a shower.

Gary Calloway is homeless and currently sleeping in a tent, something that he said has become much harder during the heat wave.

"When I'm out in this heat and I'm working or peddling or whatever I find when I stop, that's when it really hits me hard," he said. "I try to drink lots of water but when I stop it's like, God my whole energy level's gone."

Jim Martin is the director at the ACE Center and has taken to calling the shelter from the heat "Code Orange;" a name derived from the winter's "Code Purple" shelters when temperatures drop below freezing. Both are to protect those living outside from extreme weather.

"When we're talking about high heats like this anything can happen," Martin said. "You can faint... heat exhaustion is not fun, you can end up in the hospital, so it's a very futile situation when you're out in 100 degree plus weather and it's just not safe."

"A lot of people would probably die," Calloway said. "We don't have anything as it is and a place like this, it's a miracle."

Martin said beyond basic necessities, the center can also provide hope.

"It's really a starting point," he said. "Being cool and collected is a starting point and then people can launch off into a better life."

That's something Calloway agreed with; he just got a job himself.

"Without this place I don't know what a lot of people would do," he said.

The center opens at 8 am. It is open to everyone in need, not just homeless people.
 

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