Community groups in Harrisonburg, Virginia, are collaborating to connect low-income residents with to help improve home energy efficiency, Energy News Network reports. The Climate Action Alliance of the Valley is working to build relationships with groups not necessarily focused on energy efficiency to build trust in the community and connect residents with services to help save money and improve the health of their home. The volunteer-driven Comité Salvadoreño Paisanos Unidos (COSPU) has helped empower the region’s vibrant and significant immigrant population with mentoring, education, and advocacy for 14 years and added its second (part-time) paid staff member thanks to a grant through CAAV to raise awareness about free home efficiency upgrades.

“This is a creative, unique way to address this gap,” between families with high energy burdens and efficiency and weatherization resources, Everett Brubaker of Community Housing Partners, one of the groups that performs the upgrades, told EEN.

“Having a total stranger come to the door can be intimidating for the people we serve,” Crimson Solano, COSPU’s Executive Director and its one other paid employee, said. “We have access and we have trust.” (Energy News Network)