Family Forced To Rely On Space Heaters, Oven For Warmth

Posted: 7:57 PM, Jan 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-02 20:58:00-05

Jamika Donaldson has struggled to keep her home warm for the last four years, but she says this winter is the worst.

Her heating system goes in and out at her apartment; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But she says no matter how many times her landlord sends maintenance to fix it, the heater inevitably breaks down again.

"Last night was the first time I saw the thermostat say low," she said. "It really frustrated me but all I could do is go in the room and pray about it."

This week, temperatures have dipped into the single digits overnight. Donaldson said it's not much warmer in the bedrooms where her six children sleep.

She is relying on space heaters and even uses her oven, which fire officials urge people not to do, to keep warm.

On Tuesday afternoon, her thermostat read 49 degrees.

"I feel terrible,' Donaldson said. "Sometimes I cry myself to sleep, but I just have to be thankful because I can’t afford to move nowhere else right now."

NewsChannel 5 spoke to Donaldson's landlord, who said they would send maintenance to the apartment again on Tuesday afternoon.