Contact: Stephany Campos
August 1, 2021
scampos@hhcla.org 213-381-0539  
Katherine McNenny: katherine.trees@yahoo.com
Tom Grode:manoftheseatom@gmail.com

Website: SKIDROWCOOLING.WORDPRESS.COM  On FaceBook: The Skid Row Cooling Resources Group

Skid Row Cooling Resources Provides Relief to Heat Crisis in Skid Row

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, this coalition, Skid Row Cooling Resources, announces operation of 4 outdoor cooling centers in Skid Row to protect vulnerable residents of Skid Row, many of whom are unhoused and living in spaces with inadequate air conditioning, from the brutal impacts of historic heat. Heat is felt exponentially in urban areas like DTLA where the built environment holds and magnifies heat that continues to radiate from concrete even at night.

Skid Row Cooling Resources offers relief via misting canopies and distribution of drinking water, hydrating beverages, ice, popsicles, and sunscreen. Working with partners that include the City of Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti’s Office, Council District 14 and LADWP (Kawana Key and Anthony Rodriguez were instrumental,) Skid Row Cooling Resources is introducing a dual use of fire hydrants that are attached to a mechanism that sends water to both the filtered “water bar” for drinking and to pipes in a canopy to provide cooling mist. The cooling centers are accessible 16 hours daily and are operated by Homeless Health Care Los Angeles with Urban Alchemy providing the staffing component and offering safety and referrals for the community.

The hope is that this pilot project will serve as a model for other areas where there are few or no structures or services dedicated to meeting the needs of the public as climate change continues to endanger those most exposed to the elements.

Coalition member and Environmental Attorney Lisa Kaas Boyle worked to ensure the model relies primarily on tap water instead of plastic bottled water. “Water is a human right recognized by international law and California law, yet so many people, especially those experiencing homelessness, have no  access to drinking water. This is especially dangerous during heat waves when people can die from dehydration. Skid Row Cooling Resources is meeting the demand for water in the most sustainable manner possible.”  

Stephany Campos, Director of the ReFresh Spot at 544 Towne Avenue assembled the Skid Row Cooling Resources Coalition to offer emergency outdoor relief as her indoor facility is overwhelmed by the needs of the Skid Row population. Campos says, “the ReFresh Spot is just one facility that offers filtered tap water and reusable bottles, 6 showers, 7 restrooms and laundry facilities to a Skid Row population of over 5,000. There should be at least four or five more permanent spaces like this throughout the area that are invested in and properly maintained. Additionally, The Refresh Spot is a model that should be replicated not only on Skid Row, but elsewhere in Los Angeles County to meet the needs of the 66 thousand people experiencing homelessness in the County.”