Shelters Last Resort For Those Without Air Conditioning - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/5/04-Tyler

Shelters Last Resort For Those Without Air Conditioning

  Another sweltering day in East Texas where, at times, it feels close to 110 degrees outside. For some East Texans without air conditioning it's just too much.  They have headed to an emergency shelter instead of risking heat-stroke. 

  For a Tyler mother and her five children, that's the decision she has had to make.

  "Thank God we're in an air-conditioned facility and not fanning and sweating," Tammy Woods says.

  For the worst weeks of this Summer that was life for Tammy and her five children -- the oldest a sophomore in high school and the little one just 21 months old.

  "We don't have an A/C, so we used a fan, but when it got to 10 o'clock in the morning, it's already hot," she says.

  Now their refuge is the Ornelas Center of Hope. The Salvation Army shelter is where she and the kids are calling home for now. Tammy is unemployed, and the electricity at the family home was cut off. Just a long cord from a neighbor powered a window fan.

  "It's hot out, so nothing came in but hot air."

  The cool breeze at the shelter is a refreshing change -- giving her time to decide what to do next.

  "This is an air-conditioned facility, and we only have two fans (at home), and so we fan and sweat and this is a blessing to me."

  "It's not just a matter of comfort and convenience, it's a health matter for them, especially for elderly folks with a medical condition and children," Linda Edwards with the Salvation Army says.

  For kids and their parents, the Army says their doors are always open -- that a helping hand in the heat is there. And for Tammy, she says it's meant everything for her family.

  This way no one becomes another statistic of this summer danger.

  "I thank these people who welcomed us in, we're just one big happy family," Tammy says.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.

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