Centers help seniors meet, greet & beat the heat

Yvonne King
Yvonne King
Sylvester Sims
Sylvester Sims

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Krystal Allan – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - With heat indexes reaching triple digits, many in South Mississippi are looking for ways to cool off. Among those who are most vulnerable under these conditions are seniors.

In South Mississippi, there are some options for seniors looking for shelter from the heat.  One place is the Frances Fredericks Senior Complex in Gulfport.

"It's a pleasure to come out, talk with people and enjoy one another," said Yvonne King.

"We play dominoes, shoot pool and walk the treadmill," said Sylvester Sims. "You can come around here and tell jokes and laugh."

At the complex, seniors can get some relief from the heat.  It's also where they can build relationships with other seniors in the community.

"Sometimes being at home by yourself, it's not good. When you come out here you get a chance to come out and mingle with others," King said.

The Fredericks Complex is among a handful of senior centers throughout the county.  Seniors can come as early as 7:00 a.m.  Some of the centers stay open as late at 7 p.m.  The seniors are served meals and can take part in activities throughout the day.

Center directors say staying at the facility through the hottest parts of the day can also be a big help to seniors when it comes to cutting utility costs.

"I would encourage a lot of them to really come and get a lot of enjoyment out of it," King said.

The Frances Fredericks Senior Complex is part of the Isaiah Fredericks Community Center, located at 3312 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Gulfport.

The Paralyzed Veterans of America will also have its building open to the public as a cooling center. It is located at 15489 Dedeaux Road in Gulfport, and will be open Monday through Friday, 8am-6:30pm.

There are also centers at Lyman, Saucier, Woolmarket, D'Iberville.  The centers are open five days a week, free and there's no income requirement.

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