Program Gets Air Conditioners Into Homes Of Green Country Needy

Monday, June 27th 2011, 5:16 pm

By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The extreme heat has people looking for ways to stay cool, but many homes in Tulsa do not have air conditioning. That's where a Tulsa charity steps to the plate.

The national weather service is asking residents to stay out of the heat as much as possible. But if you don't have an air conditioner that can be tough.

"I wore a towel around my neck and slept out on the front porch a few nights," said Collinsville resident Lona Hodges.

Lona Hodges knows what it's like to live in hot weather, with only two fans to circulate the air in her mobile home; she says it can get unbearable.

But Lona's home is much cooler now since she received a window unit air conditioner courtesy of the Tulsa Weather Coalition.

"Oh, it was so nice to not have to wear the wet shirt all day," Lona said.

Lona is one of dozens of Tulsa area residents who qualified for the a/c.

"Some people think this program is sometimes associated with comfort but it is not a comfort it is really a health intervention," said Tulsa Weather Coalition Director Jim Lyall.

The Tulsa Weather Coalition began installing a/c's in May and will continue through September. In order to qualify residents must be on a low, fixed income, have no other air conditioning unit in their home, and have health conditions that limit mobility.

Lyall says those who receive an a/c have nowhere else to turn to stay cool during the summer.

"Some are just so sick that so much of their income has been given over to their healthcare that there's nothing left," Lyall said.

The Weather Coalition has already installed 75 window units and they expect to install 75 more. The only concern is if they need more after that because the supply and the budget tends to run low.

Hodges is grateful to the weather coalition. She wants people in her same situation to know that help is out there.

"I think it's wonderful, I don't know what I'd done without them if I hadn't found out about them," Lona said.

If you would like to make a donation or you're in need of an air conditioner or you can call 211, an operator will help you with the application. The air conditioning unit must be returned in the fall.


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