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Several distribution and cooling centers have opened up across Houston area as residents find food, escape from heat – Houston Public Media

Acres Homes food drive

Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media

Volunteers give out water and food at the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center on July 10, 2024. The city of Houston partnered with Houston Food Bank and H-E-B.

Several distribution sites and cooling centers have opened up throughout the Houston area for people in need of food and an escape from heat.

On Wednesday afternoon, Guadalupe Alardin was lined up at the Bayland Community Center, which doubled as a distribution site and a cooling center for those seeking reprieve from the heat. As Alardin waited for food and water, she said that even though she knew a Hurricane was coming towards Houston, she wasn’t expecting the power to be out for so many days.

“That’s how we are right now, it’s a hard situation,” she said in Spanish.

RELATED: Houston power outages: CenterPoint releases outage map; 1.3 million still without power after Beryl

Brenda Hernandez was another resident in line at the community center. She said she wasn’t expecting the hurricane to hit so close to her home. She added that some groceries she bought over the weekend had already spoiled after her power went out.

“For me, it’s hard because I’m alone with two kids,” she said in Spanish. “To be buying and wasting food, it’s really hard. We don’t have a place to put light or at least a fan, nothing.”

Hernandez has plans to stick around at the cooling center inside. Amalia Alvarez and her two dogs, Ruby and Argos, had spent several hours inside the community center as she waited for her power to be restored.

“This is comfortable,” she said, as her two dogs cozily splayed out on the cool floor.

dogs after the hurricane

Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media

Amalia Alvarez sits at the distribution/cooling center at the Bayland Community Center with her two dogs, Ruby (left) and Argos on July 10, 2024.

RELATED: When will my power be back on after Hurricane Beryl?

Other centers have opened across the city, including Lakewood Church, the Crosby Community Center and the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center.

Throughout Wednesday afternoon, stacks of water and food were distributed to hundreds of people outside of the Acres Homes Multi-Service Center. Similar to Bayland, the community center had doubled as a cooling center. Earnestine Sykes took advantage of the cool air inside as she charged her phone. This was the second day she had spent at the community center.

“This is annoying for me, you know? It’s frustrating,” Sykes said. “This is a large city. I don’t understand why Centerpoint can’t keep our lights on.”

Distribution centers will likely be open again on Thursday at 10 a.m. until supplies last. For a robust list of cooling centers and shelters across the Houston area, click here.

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