HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — As temperatures rise across the Valley, many people may find themselves struggling to beat the heat and the Hidalgo County Community Service Agency is working to help families in need of resources.
Jaime Longoria, the executive director of Hidalgo County Community Service Agency, said the agency provides air-conditioning units for qualifying people and other resources.
“We can also provide fans, we can also repair their central air units if that’s what they need,” said Longoria.
He explained that the resources are available year-round for vulnerable families with children under the age of six, the elderly, and the disabled.
He said families must be living below 150% of federal poverty to qualify.
“The economy is just really squeezing people to a point where they’re forgoing some of the basic necessities and things that they consider a luxury, which would be cooling,” said Longoria.
As prices of goods and services rise, Longoria said the agency can also help people struggling to pay utility bills.
“The neat thing about what the state of Texas has done recently, they’ve allowed us to drop lump sum payments for families. So, a family can qualify let’s say $1,100 worth of utility assistance, in the past, we used to dole that out on a month-by-month basis based on their consumption history. This year, the state is allowing us to drop that $1,100 down at one time and they’re able to use that $1,100 over the course of the year,” he said.
Longoria said the turnaround time for utility assistance applications is about three weeks.
He said the process to receive air-condition units is quicker, but supply chain issues have delayed shipments and he is expecting to receive more units in the next week.
For a list of assistance programs and qualifications, you can visit the Hidalgo County Community Service Agency’s website.