MILWAUKEE- Grunau Company participated in a Heat’s on for Heroes program through the Milwaukee County Veterans Services. Through Steamfitters Local 601, Grunau helped provide free cleaning and inspections for 25 military veteran homeowners in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.
According to Heat for Heroes, 62,000 Wisconsin veterans have to choose between food and heat. Many of the military veterans have service-related disabilities, and live on a limited income. Thousands of Wisconsin military veterans fall below the state and federal poverty line, and over 16,000 are unemployed. Energy costs continue to increase, resulting in a sometimes life-threatening crisis when the veteran is unable to account for the price difference and can’t pay the energy bill, for inspections, or cleanings. This forces the military veteran to choose between heating their home in winter or cooling in the summer, and eating food.
Heat for Heroes works to help veterans in crisis. Many military veterans have a hard time asking for help, despite the gravity of their situation. Additionally, the backlog of Federal disability benefits can take years to unravel, delaying the much-needed help of these veterans. The combination of a limited income, lack of resources, and disabilities is a crisis among veterans, and forces veterans and their families to choose amongst necessities in order to survive.
Among the homeless population, 33% are military veterans. The Heat for Heroes campaign is designed to prevent life-threatening energy-related emergencies by helping struggling veterans keep their heat and power on. This also opens the door for the military veteran to find resources with various State, County, Federal an veteran services to ensure long-term household stability. Heat for Heroes provides not only inspections, cleaning, and services for HVAC systems, it also helps veterans who have fallen behind on their bills.
Since 2016, Heat for Heroes has serve over 10,000 veterans and their families. Grunau Company is an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriotic Employer and Freedom Award nominee.