This blog is part of a series on Walk for Warmth.
Cold homes are often a sign that people are struggling to make ends meet.
Danna Larson, Director of Faith Formation and Mission at Anchorage First Presbyterian Church, has been actively involved in Walk for Warmth since its inception. She is bringing attention to the impact that cold homes have on our community.
“Having a cold home is ultimately facing a loss of control,” Danna says. “When you can’t afford heat, you’ve already begun asking yourself several hard questions.” She lists several, counting with her fingers and including Can I feed my family? Can I pay my electric bill? Are my pipes going to freeze and burst? Will I get sick? Will people come visit me?
Danna’s sensitivity to the impacts of cold homes stems from volunteering in Anchorage’s emergency cold weather shelters. “When I’m there, I listen to stories,” she says. “People feel responsible when they can’t meet their needs. They shouldn’t feel shame, but they often do.”
We wish no one lived in cold homes or experienced homelessness. When people end up in that situation, it’s usually after dealing with many challenges over long stretches of time. Preventing them from mounting helps people stay housed.
Walk for Warmth, a free community, event is helping to overcome hurdles. Here’s one of several: Secure financial assistance for those living in cold homes.
Help us spread the word that the impacts of a cold home are preventable. Walk for Warmth occurs on Saturday, Feb. 17 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Attendees follow a pre-planned, three-quarter-mile route in downtown Anchorage. Register now.
ENSTAR, United Way, Danna and many other people and organizations are doing their part to offer heat, hope and change—and you can too. Keeping homes warm keeps people housed.