LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The City of Lubbock has many 1-1 numbers. 211 is an information and referral service hotline to help people in need. It offers information from local health and human service programs.
When the first hard freeze of the season arrives Saturday morning, Sylvia Barron is worried her family won't stay warm. "It gets pretty cold so I turn on the space heaters to keep it warm and use the oven. We do have a wall heater but it doesn't work," said Sylvia.
She takes care of her two children as well as two grandchildren, and she decided to reach out to 211 for help. They informed her that the only play they knew that could help her was Family Promise of Lubbock, so she called them. They told her that they are sorry but they don't provide that type of service.
Sylvia then called 211 again to let them know what she found out. 211 told Sylvia that they would send out emails and get back to her on Monday.
We asked the question, why would 211 refer her to someone who couldn't help? We spoke to The director of 211 Aida Martinez to get some answers. "We actually get a lot of those calls, in the winter months, unfortunately that money is no longer available," said Martinez. She says it is tough to get help in Lubbock, "You have to meet eligibility requirements for a lot of the agencies in this area."
Some of the requirements are to be 60 years of age or older, a veteran, or if you have a disability. What happens if you don't meet those standards? "Unfortunately, there is a huge gap right now that with the winter months coming up will fall into this same situation," said Martinez.
This situation leaves Sylvia Barron with no heater. Martinez says that Sylvia has a possibility of getting help and that it just depends on who responds to the emails that 211 sent out. However, a response could take weeks.
Sylvia, in the meantime, says she will deal with the situation and use other means to stay warm.
The 211 center did contact Family Promises and is trying to reach as many resources as possible for the Barron family. 211 says that basic needs, such as clothing and food referrals are readily available for the winter months.
Some methods of staying warm during the winter months can be very dangerous, and the Lubbock fire Department has some tips for heating your home.
In a follow-up to this story: After this story aired on KCBD NewsChannel 11 at 6, the station received calls from Lubbock citizens that wanted to help Sylvia and her family. On Saturday, Carlin Services Inc. will repair her heater free of charge. We will bring you the updates as they become available.
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