A group of senior citizens visited Friendship Baptist Church Sunday to implore their landlord to fix their air conditioning once and for all.
The church owns Friendship Towers, a 100-unit residence occupied by elderly residents, many of them in ill health. A chiller, installed six weeks ago, was supposed to repair the malfunctioning system but has thus far provided little relief. An unrelenting heat wave — Atlanta has topped 90 degrees every day since July 7 — has only compounded the discomfort.
“You go into the apartments and the thermometer reads anywhere from 85 to 87 degrees,” said community activist Derrick Boazman, a former Atlanta City Council member. “You’re talking about residents with fragile health.”
The Rev. Emmanuel McCall, Friendship’s interim pastor, pledged to visit the apartments Monday afternoon.
Money should not be an issue, said Boazman, noting the church recently received $19.5 million to relocate to make room for the Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium.
The apartments are located alongside Northside Drive, right across the street from the new dome under construction.
Boazman said if the air conditioning problem can’t be immediately remedied, the church should move the seniors to a building with adequate facilities.
“These problems go back four or five years,” he said. “Enough is enough.”