Orange County Aging, DSS provide heat relief for low-income residents, seniors and disabled

ORANGE COUNTY (June 19, 2018) -- In response to extremely high temperatures, the Orange County Department of Social Services is offering several ways to help high-risk, vulnerable citizens cope with the heat. The agency currently has a limited number of fans available to low-income county residents. Additionally, the agency has crisis intervention and energy funds available to help with energy costs.

Orange County residents with limited resources and no cooling source in their home can apply to receive a fan at the Chapel Hill office located at 2501 Homestead Road, or the Hillsborough office located at 113 Mayo Street. Individuals and families need to be at or below 200% of poverty level to be eligible. For an individual, the income limit is approximately $2,010/month, and for family of four, the income cutoff is about $4,100/month.

In addition to providing fans, the agency also runs the county’s Emergency Assistance Program. This program can help pay past due utility bills to keep a resident’s electricity from being turned off.

"The need for cooling assistance has already been high and temperatures are expected to stay steady for the next few days," said Nancy Coston, Orange County DSS Director. "Our primary concern is the health and safety of our vulnerable residents."

Anyone interested in donating a new fan (in box) can bring it to either of the Department of Social Services locations listed above. Monetary donations can also be given at either site or mailed to the agency at P.O. Box 8181, Hillsborough, NC 27278. Please specify that donations are for the energy and crisis assistance programs. All donations to the Orange County Department of Social Services are tax deductible.

In addition, the Orange County Department on Aging also provides fans to seniors 60 and over or people under 60 with a disability. To check the availability of free fans, please contact the Seymour Center (2551 Homestead Road) in Chapel Hill at 919.968.2070 or the Passmore Center (103 Meadowlands Drive) in Hillsborough at 919.245.2015. The county has a limited number of fans available.

Orange County fans are provided by grant funding from Duke Energy of the Carolinas and Valassis Giving Committee along with private donations.