Funds will help locals pay their utility bills

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 27, 2000


Staff Writer

Some people in Pike County who might not be able to afford to heat their homes will be getting help.

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The Organized Community Action Program, which serves Pike County, will receive $43,818 in Energy Assistance Funds.

That announcement was made by Gov. Don Siegelman on Wednesday when he informed 23 Community Action agencies that he was making available $726,105 in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds to help low income families meet the high cost of warming their homes during the winter.

Wanda Moultry, area supervisor for the Organized Community Action Program, said the money will allow them to help "keep a person warm" and cool this summer.

"We’re going to be calling a few more people to tell them we can help them with their heating," Moultry said.

She said the money is a "big help" because warmer weather is approaching .

"If it is as hot as it was last year, we will need it," Moultry said.

Since October, more than $8.7 million has been made available to these agencies.

"Without these funds, thousands of our state’s elderly and disabled citizens, as well as many families with small children, would have to endure the winter season without heat," Siegelman said.

LIHEAP funds are provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Services. The primary purpose of the program is to help those households, which have a combined monthly income at or below the poverty level, heat and cool homes.

The grants to the Community Action agencies are administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Local agencies then distribute the money to families that qualify for assistance.