Cooling Centers Open Across Houston
June 8, 2012
by: Laurie Johnson
Every summer, the City of Houston offers cooling centers for people who don't have access to air conditioning.
For the seventh year, Reliant Energy has joined with the city to open additional "Beat the Heat" locations and help fund window units for eligible Houstonians.
Reliant President Jason Few says they're donating $20,000 to buy as many as 200 air conditioners for the elderly or disabled in the city.
"We will provide bus fare, certainly games and snacks and a lot of fun in these centers. And then starting July 11th, one day each week we will provide assistance to anyone that comes in to the centers to help them analyze their bill, help give them recommendations of ways they can actually reduce some of their billing expense and also offer payment assistance as part of that."
Last year, ten people died from heat-related causes in the City of Houston. Mayor Annise Parker says many people realize they need to keep cool during the summer, but don't have the means to do so.
"Every year we have extreme heat during the depths of the summer in Houston. And for reasons of age or disability, mental illness, there are people who cannot cope with that heat appropriately and we need to help them."
About 4,000 people checked in at cooling centers last summer.
That's not counting people who showed up at the city's libraries, pools and park centers to cool off.
To be eligible for one of the city's free window units, applicants must be 62 years or older, disabled or chroncically ill.
City of Houston Multi-service Centers (MSC), (Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Click here for a map.
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