TREVOR, Wis. — When many people think of Kenosha County, they likely think of the City of Kenosha proper.
However, west of Interstate 94, the bulk of the county’s land is dotted with farm fields and small towns. It’s an area where accessing key social services can sometimes be more challenging than in the heart of the city.
Trevor-based The Sharing Center helps residents of western Kenosha County get their basic needs met. Through a food pantry, school supplies and other social services, they provide a wide variety of help.
Sharon Pomaville is the Sharing Center’s executive director. Right now, her focus is on helping clients beat the heat. With some clients living out of their cars, or in homes with no air conditioning, it is a real issue.
Pomaville said she and her volunteers are prepared when someone comes in saying they are having a hard time dealing with the hot temps.
“The first thing we ask is, do they feel like they are safe? Are they on the verge of a medical crisis because of the heat or because it is too cold? If they are, we refer them to the appropriate folks who can help them out,” said Pomaville.
The Sharing Center serves as a cooling center for Kenosha County. In addition, they have long-term ways of helping people stay cool. Pomaville said she has contacts at several local HVAC unions, where union members are willing to donate their time to fix broken air conditioners.
But that’s still not the only way The Sharing Center can help those who need it.
“We have often a small back stock of small air conditioners and we can have them delivered and if they have someone who can put them in their window within a few hours, we can have them cooled down,” said Pomaville.
The warm temperatures are also impacting the way The Sharing Center provides day-to-day services. Volunteer Bea Campion helps clients get food pantry items to their vehicles. Campion said no matter what items they are getting, they try to do it quickly.
“Whatever we can do to help them to make it easier and quicker. Get the food, get it in their cars, so they can get air conditioning and help them out if it’s a struggle,” said Campion.