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No Air Conditioning Proves More Than Just a Minor Setback at Jop - KOAM TV 7

No Air Conditioning Proves More Than Just a Minor Setback at Joplin Homeless Shelter

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Joplin, MO -

Workers at Souls Harbor homeless shelter are asking for any amount of donations to help with a problem that's only going to worsen as the summer months arrive.  Half of their building has been without air conditioning since last fall.

Workers at the shelter say it's more than just a small comfort issue.

Here's another dimension to what you get from video and pictures:

Kris Proctor, a Souls Harbor resident says, "It's warm!"

26-year-old Proctor sleeps in the same room with 23 other men.  There's no air conditioning, only fans.  Ready for more detail?

"It has not been fun," says Souls Harbor Interim Director Diana Gurley.  "It has been hot.  It has been sweaty.  It has been smelly."

"It makes it a lot easier to notice what a room full of men smells like," says Proctor.

There's no quick fix to a broken air conditioner, the source of all this hardship.  The AC needs to be replaced in this building, built in 1902.

"$700," says Gurley.

Donations have covered that cost.

"Now we just have to raise enough money to replace a five-ton coil and to provide a crane to get this hoisted on to the top of the building where our air conditioners sit," says Gurley.

There's no idea of how much it'll cost to get the new AC two stories up.  So for right now, people at Souls Harbor say they've been making the best of the situation.  There are a lot of fans.  Proctor was thinking of getting a small one for his bedside, until he saw the cost.

"Somewhere between 15 and 30 dollars," says Proctor.

Proctor says he'd rather spend the money for lunch, personal care items, and maintaining his bicycle that he uses for a 30 minute ride to and from work.

"They need their rest.  They need their sleep so they can get out here and function to get new jobs.  So they can function to get their housing in order.  But then they've been up sweating all night.  They've been up trying to get cool all night.  Doesn't help," says Gurley.

What will help are more donations towards this needed project.

"Donations are everything because that's the only thing that keeps Souls Harbor going," says Proctor.

Again, Souls Harbor is asking for any amount of donations to help with this ongoing situation.  Proctor says fellow residents have been encouraging each other to not lose their temper and "stay cool," in the mind, at least.

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