Dallas County

Dallas County program saving lives with free AC units during scorching heat

NBC 5 followed a delivery crew as they brought free cooling units to families in need

NBC Universal, Inc.

Tuesday’s temperatures are some of the hottest seen all summer.

While the temperatures climb, it's alarming to know there are countless people in North Texas who are still living without air conditioning inside their homes.

Dallas County officials are working to put a stop to that.

Throughout the summer, Dallas County Health and Human Services has been making regular deliveries of air conditioning units to people in need. Many of them are seniors who have no other way of escaping the heat.

It’s all made possible by the county's Weatherization Assistance Program, which gives priority to the elderly, those with disabilities and families with small children who are suffering through the summer heat.

"We're doing everything we can to help people just power through this summer,” said Christian Grisales, a spokesperson for DCHHS. " We're saving people's lives by providing AC units. We have the resources available and best of all, it's totally free."

NBC 5 followed a delivery team on Tuesday as they made several stops to homes in West Dallas to personally install the brand new, free units inside people’s homes.

Once the technician finished installing the unit, it was a moment of sweet relief for Mildred Williams.

"It feels like I'm in heaven, that air feels so good,” she told NBC 5.

It was the first time she felt cold air in her Dallas home since last year.

"I've been using fans and stuff and at night I be sweating and hot,” she said. "I didn't sleep properly and when I wake up in the morning time, I feel like someone poured water on me."

Another woman who received a delivery lives alone with a broken window unit, which caused her neighbors to worry.

"You just imagine how long it takes for someone to have an illness or a death. So I'm appreciative for this program,” said her neighbor, Alex Garcia.

Others have lived for months without consistent cool air and can't afford costly repairs, including Sara Wynn’s home. She is one of eight people living in the house, along with children and her elder father.

"It's been really, really hot, especially since my car doesn't have AC so it makes it much worse than that – to drive around and come home to an even hotter house, but now it's much better with the new AC,” she said. " This summer is the worst. The kids will feel a lot better. My dad, the dogs, too – it gets really hot for them."

The health department has delivered over 150 units so far this season. Those who live in apartments are also eligible for the program.

The program can also pay for repair work on broken central air systems for those who qualify – whatever it takes to help people survive this summer scorcher.

"It's going to be wonderful. I can sleep well, I can cook. I do whatever I want to do,” said Williams. “It is lovely. It’s a blessing."


Dallas County funds and community donations pay for the Weatherization program.

It is only open to lower-income people who are at or below a certain percentage of the federal poverty level. For example, if you are a family of four, you cannot make more than $60,000.

Click here for more details on qualifications and general information or here for information in Spanish.

If you or someone you know needs an AC unit or you would like to make a donation to the program, call this number: 214-819-1976 or visit the DCHHS Weatherization website.

Click here - WAP Application - to download the WAP Application. It can be completed using one of the following methods:

  • Save the application and complete it (application is a fillable form)
  • Or, print out the application and complete it, please write legibly and clearly
  • Return the completed application with supporting documents using one of the following options:
Email to:wapassistance@dallascounty.org
Or, Mail to:Dallas County Department of HHS
2377 N. Stemmons Freeway
Suite 336
Dallas, TX 75207-2710
Or, Walk in:2377 N. Stemmons Freeway
3rd floor
Suite #336
Dallas, TX 75207-2710

An appointment is preferred, please call 214-819-1976.

If you have any questions, please contact the WAP office at 214-819-1909.

You will need to provide paperwork for the qualification process. It can take only a few days or less for the delivery to be made.

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