BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Sizzling temperatures are giving many people reason to find relief, but the places offering a cool down are hardly being used.
Dina Bennett is learning how hot Bakersfield can be during the summer.
"I just have my cooler and my fan and sometimes the cooler don't work. It's hot so, hot," she said.
For the first time, she's visiting the East Bakersfield Veterans Building, a designated cooling center she says people may not know about.
"Maybe they don't come because they don't know, but it’s very important to announce and tell them it's a place that we can come and be here, comfortable," said Bennett.
Cooling Centers open when temperatures are forecast to be over 105 degrees by the National Weather Service.
"There are people who don't have fans even let alone a/c's and they're very important, particularly for those people who are very susceptible to high temperatures," said John Cove, administrative coordinator for the City of Bakersfield Parks and Recreation Department.
Through a $30,000 grant provided by PG&E, Cooling Centers are open for seven hours during the hottest days even when nobody shows up.
"We stay open because we are committed to doing that," he said.
Some parents say Cooling Centers are just not an option.
"It would depend on our nap schedule at the house," said parent, Erin Chapman.
"My kids they like to get wet, throwing balloons at each other so I mean it'd be nice also, if they had things for kids to do," said parent John Jimenez.
But for some, they wouldn't have it any other way.
"I spent most of my days and nights here, you know I play pool, play cards, do whatever because they have a lot of things to do here,” said Norma Anderson who visited a cooling center at East Niles Senior Center.
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