Low-income Odessans are in need of fans as the temperature continues to hit the triple digits, and with more people coming to town looking for work, that need is only growing.

The Permian Basin Mission Center is asking the public for help with providing box fans for the clients they serve, who may not be able to afford ways to keep cool.

“Our low income clients, their air conditioning units go out a lot,” Permian Basin Mission Center Executive Director Hector Aguilar said. “The box fan is something we can use to alleviate their suffering in that area.”

Aguilar said that many of their clients stay in smaller, older apartment complexes that may have a hard time keeping up with the large amount of air conditioning units they have for each apartment.

“You’re talking about 100 apartments trying to run units in 110-degree heat,” Aguilar said.

And for clients whose air conditioning unit breaks down, it can be a struggle for them, because they may not have the money on-hand to fix it themselves.

“If something breaks down, they can’t just go to the store and buy it,” Aguilar said. “It’s a huge ordeal for them.”

Box fans can currently be bought at Walmart for anywhere between $10 and $20.

Permian Basin Mission Center cares year-round for their low-income clients, providing them with basic needs such as food, clothing, and hygienic products like toilet paper. Aguilar said they currently see around 70-100 clients a day, and have seen around 30,000 clients since 1999.

With the oil boom, despite more work coming, Aguilar said they are still seeing a need from many people still struggling.

“Right now, our economy is doing well, but there’s still folks who can’t get out to work,” Aguilar said.

Many of their clients are unable to work due to factors such as being disabled, and many clients are single mothers with several children, and can’t afford daycare.

Even those who do land oilfield jobs may still need some help at first.

“By the time they get the oil job, it could take a month-and-a-half to two months to get a complete paycheck,” Aguilar said.

Anyone who is interested in providing box fans to the Permian Basin Mission Center can drop them off at their building at 208 Adams Ave., and ask for Hector Aguilar. They are open from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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