PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – St. Vincent de Paul just opened a 200-cot shelter to help keep those experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County safe from the extreme heat. Now they need volunteers. The Phoenix area is in the midst of an intense heat wave, and while it can be dangerous for anyone, those living on the streets are especially vulnerable.

Arizona’s Family was at the temporary shelter Friday morning. It’s set up in an air-conditioned hall on St. Vincent de Pauls’ main campus southeast of Seventh Avenue and the Maricopa Freeway. Maricopa County helped fund the shelter and helped St. Vincent de Paul coordinate with other organizations like Phoenix Rescue Mission and Community Bridges, Inc. The facility is open seven days a week from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. through Sept. 30

“The guests are so grateful for a safe place to stay — most would otherwise be staying on the street, the riverbed, or in a car,” St. Vincent de Paul spokesperson Jessica Berg said. “Instead, they are in a dignified facility and have access to food, water, a brand-new cot, sheets, clean bathrooms, hygiene items, and AC.” The staff leaves a mint with a “sweet dreams notecard” on each pillow as an added touch.

If you would like to help, you can sign up to volunteer through

Arizona saw nearly 500 heat-associated deaths statewide last year, according to St. Vincent de Paul. More than 300 of those were in Maricopa County.

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