A warm place to stay for Tucson's homeless is a little less warm tonight after a water heater break. The Salvation Army has no hot water for the men's section of its hospitality house.
Tucson Salvation Army Hospitality House Program Manager, Yolie Hasler, says the water heater broke Friday and right now they are working to replace it.
With the cold winter nights in Tucson, at least one man who stayed at the shelter and asked us not to use his name, says he had to leave the shelter because cold showers were affecting his health, "I tried myself to take a cold shower and I started getting sick. It's so cold, cold water, that's not fair to the people."
Hasler understands the frustration and is working to fix the problem. The shelter is working to replace the 27 year old water heater but says it can take at least another 3 days to fix because they are waiting for contractor bids and parts to be ordered. The new water heater and installation could cost up to $10,000.
Until the water heater can be replaced, the 55-bed men's dorm section of the shelter continues to only be able to provide cold water for showers and laundry.
Hospitality house workers are also letting people know about the other options available around town for those in need of a hot shower. Hasler says, "what we do is advise them before they come in that we do not have a shower, we have been keeping them informed and have told them that it's possibly Friday and they can choose to stay and or try and find other accommodations."