‘It’s been a life saver’: Franklinton woman in need receives free furnace

Nancy Jones’s stove went out and with only one income she didn’t know how to replace it.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A year ago today, Nancy Jones lost her husband, John.

“It was hard,” said Jones.

They were married 50 years and she has lived in her Franklinton home for 31 years.

She talked about her family, her children and how close they all are. She said she missed her husband, whom they called Jack, all the time.

“I’m just trying to stay busy and do little things and think about memories,” Jones said.

After an already difficult year for her, she began to worry about her stove.

“It just kept beating and I couldn’t sleep at night because that’s all you heard,” Jones said.

It was starting to go out and she said with an income there was no way she could afford to fix it.

She called and contacted the LifeCare Alliance.

“The LifeCare Alliance lady said, ‘Merry Christmas,'” said Jones.

They replace their oven for free.

“It’s been so nice and quiet ever since,” said Jones.

LifeCare Alliance is a not-for-profit agency providing services to seniors and people with disabilities throughout central Ohio.

We spoke to the President and CEO of the LifeCare Alliance, Chuck Gehring.

“There was a special pot of money set up by the federal government’s CARES Act and the Ohio State Department of Elderly,” said Gehring.

He said they had received $ 150,000 to be used to improve indoor air quality for seniors.

“We didn’t find out until December 11th and it had to be used up by the end of the year, at least since it was CARES Act money and it was ready by the end of the year.” Said Gehring.

The LifeCare Alliance replaced ovens for about 30 people.

According to Gehring, many stoves in older homes produce carbon monoxide and other hazards.

They used up all the money that was given.

“We’re the CHORES contractor in town, the big one. We always repair houses, but generally it replaces a toilet, sink, or faucet. It’s like a few hundred dollars. These are obviously much more expensive repairs, ”said Gehring.

He said the first person they helped her oven stopped working in February 2020. He said the help to families is especially needed now.

LifeCare now has a waiting list of people whose oven needs repair or replacement.

“My heart is that we need to solve these problems. We have certainly taken care of a lot of people with this funding, but we need more and you know that as an agency we just don’t have the money to bring in $ 5,000. Oven for People, it just doesn’t exist, ”said Gehring.

The President of the LifeCare Alliance encourages those who may need help to call them, and they are working to find ways to help as many families as possible.

They’ll be exploring what to do for seniors who may need air conditioning in the coming summer months.

Jones said she appreciated the help and says thank you.

“It was a lifesaver because there was no way I could have fixed it,” said Jones.

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