Summer Crisis Program Fighting Heat Wave

posted 7/6/18 -- For nearly two weeks, Lorain County has experienced temperatures at and over 90 degrees and the residents have been feeling the heat.

“I have asthma,” said one resident. “I have been wheezing. I did not know my asthma was that bad until recently. It has been so humid I couldn’t even go outside.”

At Lorain Community Action Agency the heat wave coincides with the State of Ohio’s Summer Crisis Program. The program operates annually in July and August and helps eligible residents with electric bills increased by running air conditioning or with window air conditioner units.

This year, the State of Ohio made several changes to its computerized application. The changes slowed things down on day one but are working well now, said Frank Prihoda, Director of Planning and Community Services.

“The ambitious improvements the state implemented with systems did hit some snags. These are being overcome and the new system is starting to show its worth," he said. "The dedication of our staff and patience from our many customers was encouraging to see.”

LCCAA gave out 46 air conditioning units in the first week of the program. 

The program’s qualifications are two tiered. Residents must be over 60 or have a documented medical condition. They must also live at or below 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Line (an annual income of $43,050 for a family of four).

Customers of regulated utilities can receive up to $300 in assistance. Customers of unregulated utilities can receive up to $500. Residents who have not received an air conditioner from LCCAA in the last three years can request a unit. The cost of the unit will be deducted from the amount of assistance they receive. The remainder can be applied to their energy bill if needed.

One recipient of an air conditioner said, “This was heaven sent. It was what I needed. The whole experience was pleasant. I didn’t have to wait too long.”

“Now I can sit in my home and be comfortable and I can breathe comfortably,” said another. “I can sleep in my own bed now!”

If you or someone you know could benefit from LCCAA’s Summer Crisis program call 1-855-806-9620 to make an appointment at one of three locations or click here to learn more.