HAPCAP Provides Free Air Conditioners Through Summer Crisis Program

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Some people in the region are struggling to stay cool as temperatures rise this summer.

HAPCAP's Glouster, Ohio
HAPCAP’s Glouster, Ohio [WOUB File Photo]
People in need can receive a free air conditioner for their home through the Hocking Athens Perry Community Action’s Summer Crisis Program from July 1 until September 30. 

HAPCAP’s public relationship coordinator Claire Gysegem believes access to cooling resources is a crisis for many in southeast Ohio.

“It’s a crisis every summer because people don’t have enough to cover their basic needs, but now we’re starting to add environmental factors,” Gysegem said. 

Rising energy costs in the summertime can be difficult to afford in older homes with poor insulation or mobile homes. 

Those eligible include anyone: 60 or older, people with an annual income of $22,540 or less, or people with medical conditions such as a COVID diagnosis within the past 12 months that have a doctor’s note. 

The rising temperatures and high humidity of summer months can also be a serious safety concern for others. 

“It’s not safe for anyone to be in this heat but given the amount of children that live in poverty in this region as well as senior citizens, it’s detrimental to their health.” Gysegem says, “This program is for sure a lifeline for this community.” 

Households with newly established or disconnected electrical service can also sign up. And customers of Income Payment Plan Plus, PIPP, can receive payment assistance.

The program also provides free repairs for any household with an air conditioner and electric service for the past thirty days.

Those interested must call (740) 868-1908 to schedule an over-the-phone appointment with HAPCAP. 

Gysegem said there is enough funding to help everyone but urges people to call as soon as they can to secure an appointment.  

More information on the Summer Crisis Program can be found by calling HAPCAP Community Services Coordinator Robin Hampton at (740) 767-4500 or sending an email to info@hapcap.org.