Two Virginia families living without heat receive assistance

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Two Richmond families who were living without heat received assistance.

As temperatures dropped into the teens Monday evening, 80-year-old Theressa Dixon was struggling to stay warm in her Brook Road apartment.

A small space heater was her only source of heat all winter long, but the past few nights of frigid temperatures were unbearable for the elderly woman who suffers from arthritis and glaucoma.

“It’s been bad, it’s been really bad,” Dixon told WTVR. “It makes you ache.”

Despite paying her power bill and rent on time each month, Dixon said her heating unit only blew cold air into the apartment.

Dixon said she began complaining to The Flats at Ginter Park, which manages her apartment complex, several months ago but didn't hear from anyone since a general contractor inspected the unit back in mid-December.

Faulty window stripping on the doors and windows have complicated the situation.

“I turned it (the unit) off today because I couldn’t stand the blowing anymore.  If you leave it on, it blows cold, cold air,” Dixon said.  “You’ve got the windows leaking in cold air; it’s just getting colder and colder in here.

Management for the Flats at Ginter Park said they are working to have Dixon's heat fixed by Wednesday.

Meanwhile in Eastern Henrico County, The Gunter family was also been struggling with little heat inside their home on Parrish Street.

 Laura and Lyndon Gunter were granted a voucher for heating assistance back in November, but a mix-up in the government run program left the family with little means to pay their heating bill.

Lyndon Gunter is on disability and was having trouble enduring the bitter temperatures.

Laura Gunter said a space heater and the home’s oven, which stays on 24/7, were the only sources of heat for the family.

“Our neighbor across the street has helped us. She’s loaned us money to get oil,” Gunter tearfully explained.

 Gunter said she placed daily calls to the county’s Department of Social Services, but was been unable to get answers or a replacement voucher.
The Gunter family was helped Tuesday morning, according to WTVR CBS 6.