St. Vincent DePaul helping with heating assistance

Heating bills have skyrocketed this winter, and it’s caused a lot of people to fall behind in making payments. For some, there is hope. ABC 10 News Now Reporter Danielle Davis tells you what you need to do to get the immediate help you need.

An unseasonably cold winter has wreaked havoc on heating bills and many people are finding it difficult to keep up.

“Don’t feel bad, it’s happening to a lot of people this year, it’s been a long winter. It started in October and its going on longer than anyone wants and there is a need and we are here to help and partner with the Superior Watershed to help everyone,’ said Laurie Schmit, Executive Director, St. Vincent DePaul.

St. Vincent DePaul has been given additional funding to assist individuals and families who have fallen behind in their heating bills. Those in need can receive up to two–thousand dollars in funding.All you have to do is bring in a past due or shut off notice along with an income and bank statement prior to May 31.

‘It’s for utility bills, electric, gas, deliverable fuel, propane, wood, wood pellets, oil, any of those, so we have assistance for all of those,” continued Schmit.

Along with the financial assistance you are also eligible for an energy assessment home visit that is geared to show you ways to save energy, cut costs and help with budgeting.

“We have some energy saving light bulbs for them, water saving devices which help reduce hot water costs, we have a programmable thermostat that we teach them how to use and we put pipe insulation around the water heater.  We also make recommendations on things they can do to help control heating costs,” said Gary Horwood, Home Evaluation Services, Energy Auditor.

The additional funding is from a grant provided by the Michigan Energy Assistance Program. The staff at St. Vincent DePaul says it’s a program that makes everyone warm inside.

“They are in tears because they are fearful that it is happening and then when they hear that we have funds to help them with it, the number of hugs and smiles and tears of gratefulness, it’s very heart–warming to see. Its good to know that everyone cares and that no one is going without heat.”

To receive immediate assistance or schedule an appointment contact your local Society of St. Vincent DePaul.