Mayor Slay Going Door To Door Checking On Residents

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- For the past six years, the City of St. Louis has been using its Special Needs Registry to check on the elderly and disabled during extreme weather.

The first thing the city tries is a robo call letting residents know where they can find help.

But if the person don't answer the phone, sometimes the city goes out to find them.

On Tuesday, the mayor was one of 60 city employees trying to visit about 1000 of the 4000 residents listed on the registry.

"We are going to be back checking on people more than the one time without question," said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.

One resident they did reach in person was Charlotte Vuichard, who no longer has a land line phone.  And thanks to the TWA bankruptcy, she also no longer has a pension, making paying her electric bill in extreme weather, extremely difficult.

"Last Wednesday they were going to cut it off but I managed to borrow the money. They would have, right at the beginning of the heat wave, the first day of the heat wave. They were going to turn it off, they had no sympathy whatsoever," Vuichard said.

The city`s Human Services director, Bill Siedhoff, reminds residents the city has funds available to help the elderly and disabled pay overdue utility bills.

"If they have past due bills this will literally get them current.  It is a great opportunity to get your bill up to date, all you have to do is call 2-1-1 at the United Way. They are doing the screening for those individuals and it is hope we will be able to provide almost 2000 people here in the city with that kind of assistance," Siedhoff said.

The city has $400,000 in federal money available to fund the program, and it has extended the deadline for application to July 13.

In the meantime, to handle the extreme heat at Fair St. Louis, which begins on Wednesday,  the fair is adding one more EMS tent and two more Metro Bus cooling stations.

"It`s a shared responsibility, we want to be great hosts but you also need to come down and be prepared and wear the right clothing and if you need a break take it and take advantage of the services we are offering," said fair spokesman Bob Schenk.