There may be relief in sight for people suffering from the sweltering heat in Delaware and South Carolina. Delaware is giving free air conditioners to residents in Sussex and Kent counties who qualify for them, and Charleston residents were able to receive air conditioners today thanks to the support of the community.
The First State Community Action Agency in Delaware is giving away the free air conditioners through its Summer Cooling Assistance Program, according to the News Journal. The state sets aside so many air conditioners to residents who qualify, and residents must apply to determine eligibility.
Residents who are interested in receiving a free air conditioner should apply between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday at 308 N. Railroad Ave. in Georgetown and on July 21 at 655 S. Bay Road, Suite 4J, in Dover. Those who cannot make those times can also make appointments to turn in an application.
In order to receive free air conditioners, residents must be 60-years-old or older, have a disability, or have a child who is under 5-years-old. The household must also meet certain income requirements, including being at or below 200 percent federal poverty guidelines, according to CapeGazette.com. The household cannot have received a free air conditioner from the state in the last five years.
People are encouraged to apply, even if they don’t think they’ll be eligible. The air conditioners will be installed about a week after they are approved to be given out.
“There are probably quite a few people that are eligible that don’t know,” said Bernice Edwards, executive director for First State Community Action Agency. “It has especially helped seniors and small children with respiratory problems. It has been a godsend.”
Representative Wendell Gilliard, founder of Project Cool Breeze in Charleston, South Carolina, is handing out 100 air conditioners to residents in the Lowcountry who are elderly and in need. Those who have already qualified and contacted the Lowe’s in West Ashley will receive their air conditioners from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday evening, according to WCBD.
“This project is not something we start six months of the year,” Gilliard said. “This rolls year-round.”
Since summer is not over and another heatwave is upon the United States, the elderly are at risk for heat-related illnesses and even deaths. Nothing quite compares like the cold relief from air conditioners. To residents in Delaware and South Carolina who couldn’t previously afford air conditioners, they’ll likely beat the heat this summer and stay out of the hospitals — and perhaps even the morgue.
[Photo by Tim Boyle / Getty Images News]