TOLEDO, Ohio — Many people are counting on their air-conditioning units to survive this upcoming mid-July heat wave. But, what do you do if you are behind on bills and your electricity is in danger of being cut off? 

There are several resources you can tap into to help make sure you get those bills paid and even get a new cooling unit if you need one. 

As a starting point, if you live in Wood, Ottawa or Lucas counties, you can call 2-1-1 at any time and the United Way can connect you with the resources available in your community.

"We have a wealth of resources that exist within our three county footprint, so you'll actually be able to talk to a specialist who is well-versed that can connect you with an agency that may be able to provide assistance," United Way Director of Community Impact Jill Bunge said.

One of the resources the United Way can connect people to is Pathway.

Pathway Toledo operates in Lucas County and is already seeing a record-breaking season for its summer crisis program.

It runs from July 1 to Aug. 31 and people over the age of 60, or households where people have certain medical conditions, and qualify financially can receive help.

"We can help them with an air conditioner, if they've received one in the past, we can also do fans, we can also assist with air conditioner repairs up to $500 for homeowners," said Claudia Rodriguez-Salazar, director of Emergency and Empowerment Services.

Since July 1, the program has already delivered over 150 air conditioners. If transportation is a concern for you, they drop off the unit at your home.

Pathway Toledo is a local organization that helps low-income households keep their current utilities running. Its partnership programs can help offset the costs of the utilities.

The group will help with: 

  • Paying heating and cooling bills
  • Making furnace and air conditioner repairs
  • Procuring fans and air conditioners for those 60 and over and/or with medical conditions

There is a new walk-in process on Wednesdays and Thursdays that allows you to call and be seen the same day as a walk-in client. 

Call the walk-in hotline at 1-844-493-1199 between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in order to receive a same-day walk-in slot. Those slots are held between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. 

To connect with Pathway other than the walk-in hotline, call 419-242-7304 or visit the location at 505 Hamilton St. in Toledo

Funding for the Pathway program is provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. These services are available to all eligible, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, or religion.