Two years ago, I joined my new friends in college for a volunteer position at the local homeless shelter.
We handled fundraising for clothing and food, which had challenges, but we managed to meet our goals.
Last year, we had targeted getting the shelter a new HVAC installation because their cooling and heating unit was already troubling them, and paying for maintenance was unsustainable. They had already spent part of summer without cooling equipment, and we were determined to find them a cooling technology that would warm the entire space for climate control and help with indoor comfort. The older adults were already struggling with the temperatures, and since we had a stable supply of food, water, and clothing, HVAC was the next big project. Our plan involved finding a reliable cooling technician to assess the property and recommend the most suitable equipment to purchase. That was easy because the local service provider offers free home services for consultations. Because the shelter has rooms that are only sometimes in use, we wanted something easy to manage without excessive energy bills. Relying on gas was not an option because it was already too expensive, so the cooling specialist recommended an electric heat pump. According to the price given by the local HVAC business, the budget for it was higher than we anticipated, and we’d need to add to the cost of hiring a quality AC service provider to install it. We wrote to the cooling corporation asking them to help us acquire the equipment within their social outreach program, which saved us equipment costs. They approved, and all we had to pay for was the installation costs incurred by the HVAC contractor.