Cooling assistance not available this summer

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

As the summer continues, calls keep pouring in to one community action agency from people in need of cooling assistance.

A ringing phone at KCEOC in Knox County brings a bit of bad news for the caller.

"We wish we could help, but there is nothing available to help with that," said Jennifer Smith, Vice-President of Program Operations for KCEOC.

The hazy summer days bring a flood of calls to KCEOC about cooling assistance. The agency thought earlier in the summer, it could get some money.

But now it's not looking likely since the LIHEAP program was not funded for the summer.

"We just want to let people know at this time, we are not anticipating any funds for any cooling programs," said Smith.

"It's terrible, but we have air conditioning," said Doris Garrison.

Seniors like Garrison stay out of the heat and grab a bite at Knox County's Senior Center.

Garrison said she does not know what she would do without air conditioning.

"Have trouble breathing I imagine," said Garrison.

Garrison is one of the lucky ones who is not having to sweat it out, trying to get help that may be all dried up.

"Resources are limited," said Smith.

The agency is referring clients to other organizations that could provide some help. They are also accepting donations of fans and air conditioners.

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