CBS4 helps elderly woman without heat on Thanksgiving

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As the temperatures drop, an elderly Indianapolis woman is making do without heat for the holiday.

Betty Burhannon, 88, contacted CBS4 Problem Solvers because she feared help was not coming to her home fast enough.

Burhannon has lived in her near northwest side home for more than 50 years, but recently she’s found it more and more difficult to live there.

“I had called (you) for help to see if I can get some heat in this house,” Burhannon said.

Two months ago, as part of a program through the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, or INHP, someone came out to inspect Burhannon’s furnace. They found a problem with the electrical system in her home, which is keeping the furnace from running.

“(He) told me it costs about $4,500,” Burhannon said.

Burhannon needed help to pay for repairs, so she applied for a loan through INHP. She filled out paperwork, but worried after she didn’t hear back right away, since the paperwork said the loan estimate expires November 27.

“They haven’t called me to tell me a certain date or when they’re going to try to send somebody out,” Burhannon said.

In the meantime, Burhannon was using her stove periodically to hear her home, which can be incredibly dangerous. She also used blankets and candles to help keep her warm.

“I just want to know something, because I can’t stay here by myself and my family’s gone,” Burhannon said.

CBS4 Problem Solvers got to work for Burhannon, contacting INHP to check on her case. Officials there said the loan is finalizing and they had not forgotten about Burhannon. They reached out to update her, and said help would soon be on the way.

For now, Burhannon said she had somewhere to go on Thanksgiving and would make do, but she hoped she wouldn’t have to wait much longer.

“I know it’s going to get bad because winter is coming,” Burhannon said.

If you own a home in Marion County and need help paying for repairs, information about the loan program Burhannon is using through INHP, as well as other programs, can be found at the link here.

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