With more bitterly cold weather heading toward southern Wisconsin, having reliable heat is of utmost importance.
But hundreds of low-income families are getting by without hot water.
Now one local company is working to make lives easier, one water heater at a time.
"There's no government program for it," said Jason Hafeman of Project Home. "There's no help out there for those people."
Hafeman is hoping to alleviate the hot water needs of many in the area by installing new water heaters at a discounted rate.
"I looked at my last job I was working at, and I just said, and I was looking for a change, and I just wanted to do something where I'm helping people," said Hafeman.
"It's taken for granted," continued Hafeman. "I mean everybody, you turn on your shower, you turn on your sink, there's hot water. Everybody just assumes that's how it is for every home owner. But that's not the case."
And the price of not having a water heater can be dangerous.
"The alternative is people boiling water on the stove, putting it in the bath tub to try and heat the water, and for low income people, especially elderly or people with a handicap or disabilities, that can be a big health and safety risk," said Hafeman.
"When they do get that hot water back, they're very appreciative, they're very thankful, and our in-house plumber has great stories every time he comes back," laughs Hafeman.
Project Home helps around a thousand homes every year in Dane and Green counties with low or no-cost home improvements.
The program hopes to install more water heaters throughout this year, but it needs more sponsors.
Residents who are below 60 percent of the state's median income could qualify for a new heater.
For more information, head to Project Home's web site.
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