CAO offering help to get cool

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 20, 2006

Beating the heat can be difficult for low-income families or senior citizens.

But relief is in sight.

The Ironton-Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization is now offering assistance to those in need of air conditioners or money to pay their electric bills.

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“This is a great program that enables us to help a lot of people,” said Shirley Harmon, director of the CAO Home Energy Assistance program, which administers the Summer Crisis Program.

All persons who participate in the program must meet income requirements; no more than $4,287 gross income for the past three months for a single-person household and no more than $5,775 for a family of two.

In addition, to qualify for a free air conditioner, persons must also have a doctor’s prescription detailing why they are needed. Those needing help paying electric bills must be over the age of 60.

“We’d like to reach them all. Anybody who needs help we want to reach out to,” Harmon said. “There are many people who need the assistance. They don’t have much income and there are not many jobs around here anymore. This is one small way we can help them make it.”

More than 240 people received help with their air conditioning costs in June. This month, Harmon said, she expects those numbers to skyrocket because of the hot, sticky weather the region has been experiencing. The program will continue through August 31.

For more information call the CAO at (740) 532-3534. Apply at the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO, 305 North Fifth Street, from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.