VALLEY VIEW, Oh. - The ninth annual 'Heat and Plumb the County' service event took place Saturday, helping nearly 60 senior and disabled residents who do not have the physical or financial means to pay for home repairs.
A group of 100 volunteer contractors from the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association of Northeast Ohio (PHCC) and the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) traveled throughout Cuyahoga County to provide the free furnace tune-ups, water audits and plumbing repairs.
Each plumbing contractor partnered with a heating and cooling contractor to visit two homes during the day. During each safety check, the contractors made sure the furnace was running safely and that the home’s plumbing system was working efficiently.
In past years, technicians have founds and fixed problems that could have been life-threatening to the customer.
“A few years ago we found a home with a serious gas leak,” said event co-organizer Jim Haberek. “We had to evacuate the house, but thankfully no one was hurt.”
All residents were pre-screened by Cuyahoga County Senior and Adult Services, Cuyahoga County Department of Development and the Cleveland Department of Aging. Residents in need had to meet certain criteria, including being the owner of the home and having financial income of no more than 175 percent above the poverty level.
If a home had more serious issues, local non-profit and government agencies were available for additional assistance. The Cleveland Housing Network, a local non-profit agency that offers services to low-income homeowners sent representatives to assist the homeowners in correcting major problems.
“Our technicians are proud to be here and to make a difference in the community,” said Haberek. “They’ve donated their Saturday to make sure residents are safe.”
The event’s materials, supplies and additional funding were donated by local plumbing and HVAC supply companies. According to the event organizers, they are always looking for more contractors to volunteer their time to meet the growing demand for the program.
The ACCA of Greater Cleveland first hosted Heat and Plumb the County in 2004, and the PHCC joined the event in 2008. Heat and Plumb the County events take place nationwide. The program was started by the ACCA in Texas and has since spread across the U.S.
For more information on how to apply for these services, visit the Cleveland Housing Network website by clicking here: http://www.chnnet.com/
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