Church offers cooling station for homeless in Houston County

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WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — It’s no secret that Middle Georgia is incredibly hot right now.

First Christian Church of Warner Robins is creating a way to help the homeless defeat the heat. The church turned its fellowship hall into a “cooling station” for the homeless.

Pastor Bethany Aplequist says that she saw a need and wanted to lead the charge in helping out.

“There’s a need that’s not being met because of COVID now,” Apelquist said. “I realized that we have space, and we’re called to share our space. So I thought this would be a good idea.”

The cooling station allows people to come inside and enjoy air conditioning for as long as they want. The church will also pass out ice pops, cooling towels, bottled water, and several other items.

Daybreak Resource Center in Macon has been providing resources to help the homeless as well.

Health issue from hot weather exposure

Sister Theresa Sullivan, the director at Daybreak, says there are several health issues that can stem from hot weather exposure.

Sullivan stated, “The biggest thing is dehydration, but if you have diabetes that kicks it off if you have high blood pressure that makes it worse, if you have headaches they’ll get worse, the dehydration just makes it hard. If you have respiratory issues it just makes it more difficult to breathe.”

First Christian Church of Warner Robins is opening their cooling station every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. while allowing people to stay socially distanced inside.

Pastor Aplequist says that the community can help by spreading the word to those who could use the cooling station.

“If you could help get the word out that we’re opening up and let people know that this is a safe place for them to be I think that would be the biggest help, Aplequist said, “We could also use donations of water and snacks and things like that and water bottles.”

The cooling station is also giving out masks and hand sanitizer to those in need.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.