Families with a member or an individual who is faced with a medical condition may be able to receive a free fan from the Fort Wayne Salvation Army. The Cool Breeze program will offer assistance to qualified individuals who are faced with a health issue that can be aggravated by extreme summer heat.
The Cool Breeze program was started in the early 2000s, and is focused on people who would otherwise have their health at risk from the Indiana heat. There are requirements in place, and conditions need to be met. However, in general, for those Fort Wayne Indiana residents who have a doctor’s note that states they have a medical condition that can be worsened by heat and who meet other conditions, these individuals can obtain a free box fan to help cool their homes or apartments.
The number of units for distribution will vary from year to year, and the demand is always high. People can donate window air conditioners or fans, or even decide to make tax-deductible cash donation to the Salvation Army and the Cool Breeze program at 2901 N. Clinton St. from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Or people can stop by the center, which can be reached from Eastbrook Drive. Donations of any items such as fans can also be dropped off at a local Walgreens.
There is a constant stream of phone calls that the Salvation Army receives, and they try to give away as many fans as they have. The program is run out of its downtown building at 2901 N. Clinton St.
While electric fans and air conditioners are generally inexpensive, many people with medical conditions may not have $10 or the means to even get to a store. The fans can help people free up money so that they can pay other medical bills, food costs, or address other basic living needs.
The Cool Breeze program doesn’t need much promotion from anyone in the community, because people and families who need help during the summer generally find out about it. People who might not know about this resource are the ones who can help keep it going, and they can accomplish this by donating functioning window air conditioners, cash, or fans.
In order to receive a free fan or air conditioner, the following conditions and steps need to be taken. Always keep in mind that all resources are limited, so unfortunately not everyone can receive help. First, you need to either call the Salvation Army at 260-744-2311 or stop by the addresses indicated above in order to ask about availability.
The program will require a note from a doctor or your health care provider stating that your medical condition requires a fan or air conditioner, or that you may experience a severe hardship without one. An application as well as an interview with a Salvation Army case manager member is required as part of the process. If you received assistance from Cool Breeze during the previous year, then you will not be eligible in subsequent years. If you do not qualify for a fan, or if there are not any more to distribute, then a case manager may be able to help you apply for other cooling bill assistance programs such as LIHEAP.
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