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Local agencies looking for ways to help the most vulnerable, including the homeless in extreme temperatures

The extreme temperatures in Northern Michigan aren’t budging, leaving some local agencies and community leaders looking at what they can do to help those most impacted, like seniors and the homeless.

Captain Liz Bock with the Cadillac Salvation Army said there’s room for anyone looking for relief from the high temps.

“We want the community to know, if you’re home and you’re just sweating and have no air conditioning, you are welcome to come here. Anybody is welcome,” said Bock.


Bock said they normally are open every day during the week but with Wednesday being Juneteenth, Salvation Armies across the country are closed for the holiday.

“Several community members, reach out the shelter being one of them going, hey, are you guys really going to be closed on a day that it’s going to be this hot? And so, we had to rethink, you know, and plan, what are we going to do,” said Bock.

Bock said that shelter-New Hope is only an overnight shelter, and they knew they had to do something to fill the void, so they found staffing to remain open Wednesday.

“New Hope closes from 9 to 3 every day. So that’s one of the reasons we started being open, because there’s nowhere for them to go. So, we actually transport them from there to here. So, they have somewhere to go,” said Bock.


Bock said it’s critical to take care of our most vulnerable citizens, so they don’t start to have permanent health problems.

“We have a lot of elderly, a lot of different medical issues on the streets. And so, the heat makes it ten times worse for them,” said Bock.

Wexford County Emergency manager Randy Boike said they also have been keeping an eye on the temperatures.

“So, Wednesday and then also Saturday. Right now, the forecast puts us into the 90s. And again, and keep in mind it also depends on a few other factors. The humidity and exposure to the sun too as well,” said Boike.


Boike said they are looking at the possibility of opening up cooling centers Wednesday and Saturday.

He said there are criteria that need to be filled before that happens.

“We wait until we have the heat advisory, warning or watch coming into place. Right now, I’ve already got them on standby,” said Boike.

Boike said people aren’t the only ones impacted by the extreme heat.

“Some of them have pets as well. Keep in mind, homeless doesn’t mean they aren’t a family out there and they don’t have a pet with them. And that’s a real struggle for them,” said Boike.

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