LONGVIEW, Texas — As temperatures continue to heat up, some Texans face a serious problem, no cooling solutions for their homes. This puts them at risk to heat-related illness, or even death.
Northeast Texas Habitat for Humanity is confronting this public health issue with their “Beat the Heat” campaign that begins on June 1. This will give low-income residents of Gregg, Harrison, and Upshur counties a chance to apply for relief.
According to the CDC, about 650 Americans die from heat-related reasons each year. Habitat for Humanity sees this issue and raises its fans and AC units for only a $20 fee.
“You do need to be considered low income according to the federal hud guidelines for your family size, you must have either a elderly individual, disabled, or person with a chronic illness that is worsened by heat, or have a child under age 4 living in the home," Executive Director Lajuan Gordon said.
Gordon says this important issue needs to be confronted in East Texas.
"It’s definitely a health-related issue. And it can get dangerous very quickly," Gordon said.
This program runs off of donations to Habitat for Humanity North-East Texas.
"We’ve got a goal to serve at least 25 families in each county and at least 75 units total this year," Gordon said.
Gordon says they have some units that have been donated already but still need assistance in reaching their goal.
"We would love to have folks that are interested in sponsoring a family," Gordon said. "Families can be served with at least one window or air conditioning unit and one or two fans to help circulate the air for $285 per family. You can also donate new fans or new air conditioning units to the program."
At the end of the day, Gordon believes no one should be without a cooling solution.
"We just don’t think that people need to wait to be safer in their homes,” Gordon said.
If you would like to donate to the Habitat for Humanity “Beat the Heat” campaign, you can drop off A/C units or fans at their Longview office, or make a monetary donation online. To find information on how to apply for this program, click here.