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Elkhart senior citizens living at Stratford Commons put at risk without air conditioning

Summer heat without air conditioning can be uncomfortable for just about anybody. But for seniors it can quickly become dangerous. The people at Stratford Commons fear what kind of hot weather the coming weeks could bring, and it's a fear that's not new to them.
 
“This has been an ongoing issue. It’s 160 unit apartment complex, full of seniors. This is the third summer in a row that we’ve had to go to bat for seniors because comes on, then they turn it off because it needs repaired,” Elkhart County Council on Aging Executive Director Tammy Friesen said.
 
All of the residents ABC 57 spoke with asked not to be identified because they were warned that if they talked to the media about the problem, they would be evicted from their homes.
 
“There are a lot of people here who have difficulty breathing, some of them are on oxygen. They try to manage the best way they can,” a Stratford Commons resident said.
 
Many of them can't believe they are dealing with this for a third summer in a row.
 
“They’re bewildered by this because they thought last summer they would have this all repaired and everything would be alright,” a resident said.
 
If the air conditioning is not restored soon, people here could find themselves with serious health problems.
 
“We’re at the point where it is going to become dangerous because you’re dealing with an at-risk population,” Friesen said.
 
Management at Stratford Commons said they will not comment on the situation. The Council on Aging is encouraging the community to donate any extra fans to the residents here.
 

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