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Heating Bill Assistance

By: Heather Haley Email
By: Heather Haley Email

Cold temperatures also mean high heating bills for many who can't afford the extra expense.

Mary Deaton says her and her husband are just trying to get by this winter and keep their three kids warm in their home in Hazard, but a $350 heating bill has them worried.

"The money has to come from somewhere because you have to provide heat and shelter for your kids and your family," Mary said.

Mary says her family is on a fixed income and in the past they've received assistance from the LIHEAP program.

"We're kind of worried, we don't know if our electric is going to be disconnected," Mary said.

LIHEAP is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, but the program has run out of money. Carol Ison is a case manager for LKLP and works directly with families in need of heating assistance.

"They're really aggravated and agitated because they depend on a program so much and when you run out of money, it's like what do I do," Ison said.

Rick Baker of LKLP in Hazard and other community action agency officials are in Frankfort talking with legislators about House Bill 153 which would provide $10 million in emergency benefits to Kentucky's LIHEAP program. Ison says you too can help get the heating assistance program going again.

"They need to call their senator and state representatives and say look I'm in need, this is needed here because Rick Baker and them can do a lot but it takes the people, and if the people won't get involved, it won't get done," Ison said.

"What's people going to do, especially if they have children. There's going to be a lot of little cold babies out there," Mary said.

Ison says she will continue helping families through other financial assistance programs, but hopes LIHEAP will have funding soon.

If you don't have heat, officials say you should find the nearest shelter or go to a family member's home through the night.

For more information about LIHEAP and other programs offered by community action agencies, log on to one of the sites below:

http://www.kentuckyvotes.org/legislation.aspx?id=55320
http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dfs/liheap.htm
http://www.kaca.org/


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