This harsh winter is creating hardship for many Hoosier families, many are still struggling to pay those rising heating bills.
Judy Ollis had to move her family of seven to a new home, just to save on future bills. Their last electric bill tripled to more than $500 last month.
“The way I look at it. My kids need a roof over their head. They need somewhere warm,” said Ollis, of Indianapolis. “There was no other choice for us because I don’t even know what this month would have been.”
Community Action of Greater Indianapolis has seen families already receiving energy assistance from $300-365 still struggling to make ends meat. The 211 Call Center has also been inundated with calls.
Local organizations say while there are fewer options, there are still ways you can find help.
“This is just the status of where we are right now, unfortunately,” said Ed Tipton, President of CAGI. “As their bills get higher, they’re calling back to see if they can get more help.”
Since November, CAGI has already given energy assistance to 6000 families in Marion County — that’s more than four times than other years.
With limited funding and fewer options, local groups recommend families under dire situations to try calling Township Trustees. Utility companies also offer flexible payment options — pay a budgeted amount now and pay off the rest later in the year.
For Judy, she’s given up on trying to get energy assistance. It may come down to spending more on staying warm over putting food on the table.
“Maybe we could get food stamps to help us out for the month, but sometimes that just doesn’t cut it.”