Free AC! Church’s Project Plugs Back In As Summer Heat Bears Down On Texas
Cornerstone Baptist Church in South Dallas is once again taking requests for their air conditioning program.
After a high volume of calls in early July, the church had to temporarily pause the program.
“The first day we had 110 calls. So it was really trying to keep up with the demand. So now they are caught up and so we're back open again and receiving calls,” Pastor Chris Simmons said.
For seven years, the church has provided free air conditioning units to low-income residents in the southern sector of Dallas as part of the North Texas Air Conditioning Initiative.
Free Window AC Units— SouthFairCDC (@SouthFairCDC) June 23, 2021
Available Now – August 31st; Cornerstone Baptist Church; 1819 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, 75215. If you know anyone without working air conditioning, they may be eligible for a free AC window unit if they live in Dallas County, (1/2)
According to Pastor Chris Simmons, last year the church provided a total of 150 AC units and this year Simmons says the phone hasn’t stopped ringing.
“Really individuals [were] trying to catch up on rent and trying to buy food trying to do some of the basic necessities. So now that it is hot, their funds are depleted. And yet the heat is on,” he said.
Simmons attributes the high need of AC units to the economic effect the pandemic has had on communities of color.
Summer 2021 is off to the hottest start, according to The Weather Channel.
“This is particularly the case from Texas to the West,” according to meteorologists. “There's little sign of relief headed into August.”
Simmons hopes to keep North Texas families cool during the hot summer days ahead.
“We've had several heartbreaking stories like that of individuals who have written to us about their particular need for AC,” Simmons said. “In order to save lives, I think everyone needs to come to the table.”
Eligible residents must live in a home that supports a window conditioning unit and must live within a 50 mile radius of downtown. No apartment or mobile home residents can apply. The church is partnering with Lowe’s for installations.
Priority will be given to seniors, individuals with disabilities and families who live in the zip code 75215.
To sign up, call the number 214-791-9882 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simmons asks people calling to be patient. There is a long waiting list but the church is trying to get to everyone as quickly as they can.
Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member and writes about the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities for KERA News. Email Alejandra at email@example.com. You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.
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