By Tom Henderson • Staff Writer • 

Ministries, nonprofits set up cooling centers

[UPDATED 8/1 2 p.m.] The McMinnville Public Library's air conditioning was fixed Tuesday morning. It is open until 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and until 5 p.m. on Friday.

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The air conditioner at the McMinnville Public Library picked the absolute worst time to malfunction, with temperatures this week expected to approach 110 degrees.

A hot library poses a problem not only for borrowers and staffers, but also for homeless people and others who use the public facility as a place to cool off. If the unit remains out, tentative plans call for closure of the second floor at 1 p.m. this week and the ground floor at 5, according to Director Jenny Berg.

“We are waiting on a part,” Berg said. “We don’t yet have an idea when that part will come in, but when it does, it should be a quick turnaround.”

There is a chance, she said Monday, that the air conditioning unit could be fixed in time. Currently, she said, staffers are hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.

The staff has been without cooling for a couple of weeks now, Berg said, but the prospect of triple-digit heat may force retrenchment.

“I’m feeling very up in the air right now,” Berg said of tentative early closure plan. “It may be a little last-minute in terms of informing the public.”

She said, “We’ve been getting by with fans and a really positive attitude. I’ve been really pleased with how staff has been managing.”

But she said, “This week’s heat adds another layer.”

Alternate cooling options for the public include First Baptist Church, at 125 S.E. Cowls St., and the Yamhill Community Action Partnership, at 1317 N.E. Dustin Court.

The church is planning to open its gathering room from noon to 4 Wednesday and Thursday. YCAP is offering refuge at its facility from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We’ve been on the list to be a cooling center, along with other nonprofits serving in that capacity, for the past few years,” said YCAP’s executive director, Jeff Sargent. “Frequently, people will hang out in the lobby.

“They can also hang out in the conference room. We have magazines and books and a play area for children.”

Howie Harkema, a local homeless advocate, compiled a list that also includes:

n Champion Team, 1300 N.W. Adams St., Suite B, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Adults struggling with mental or addiction issues are welcome to cool off, have tea or coffee, participate in support groups, play games, create art or utilize resources.

n McMinnville Cooperative Ministries, 544 N.E. Second St., 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Breakfast will be served in the social hall and reading space provided in the library. The church also has restrooms and a drinking fountain available.

n Youth Outreach, 719 E. First St. in Newberg, noon to 9 p.m. weekdays for youths in the 11 to 21 age range. In addition, visitors of all ages are welcome at a drop-in center nearby at 504 E. First.

Sargent urged people looking for a place to cool off to call 211 for the latest information. Harkema said, “Hopefully, our visibly homeless will go to these places they know so we don’t have sun stroke victims out there.”
 

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McMinnvillePublicLibrary

Our A/C was fixed this morning, we are operating on normal hours and happy to welcome anyone who need to cool off! We'll be open 10 am - 8 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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