Free air conditioners to combat summer heat for those in need

By Taneisha Fair,United Way 2-1-1 community resource navigation specialist

Taneisha Fair HeadshotIn the midst of the summer heat, many individuals and families have to suffer without air conditioning, which is particularly detrimental for a segment of the population with health risks. However, free air conditioners are being offered through HEAP’s Summer Crisis program again this summer.

HEAP provides payment assistance for electric bills, in addition to air conditioner units and repairs for those who may need cooling assistance to benefit their health.  Common examples of conditions that may qualify include: COPD, asthma and lung disease.

Medical issues like these may leave many without enough income to pay for utility bills, due to extended time out of work, high medical bills and/or low disability payments.

The program is open to income-eligible individuals who are 60 and older, or to those who can provide medical documentation for a certified health condition.  Households with a member who meets the eligibility requirements can also apply.  Residents enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program (PIPP) are not eligible to receive assistance through this program, but may call United Way 2-1-1 to find some additional resources.

The Summer Crisis Program will be available from July 1 through August 31 and can be used only once during the season. This year, it will be provided by the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC) HEAP office, located at 1849 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.

Residents can call the 24-hour line at (216) 518-4014 to make an appointment, or can walk-in Monday-Friday starting at 6:30 a.m. For additional information on the program and necessary documentation, call the Ohio Development Services Agency at (800) 282-0880 or dial 2-1-1 to speak with a navigation specialist.

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