Organizations help Hoosiers pay utility bills as temperatures continue to drop

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The cold weather has hit central Indiana early this year, and many are having to crank up their heat.

This means utility bills will be more expensive, but not everyone can afford the increase.

There are a few different ways to receive assistance. You can go through organizations like the Salvation Army or United Way.

These organizations are expecting to see more people ask for help since the cold weather has moved in quickly.

Salvation Army’s Indiana division’s second in command Donna Leedom says the need for assistance increases a lot around the holiday season.

People have to decide between bills and buying presents.

Currently, the Salvation Army Eagle Creek location has 200 people on the wait list for emergency assistance.

“We need help getting them into the system, getting the interviews and the applications taken, so we can use some volunteer help in the area,” Leedom said.

The yearly assistance program helps those who can’t afford things like their electric bill.

The United Way of Central Indiana has the Winter Assistance Fund to help pay for the added cost.

“For some individuals, that cost could mean being able to pay rent or buy food that week, so this fund was meant to help the individuals that don’t qualify for the federal program that make just a penny over,” United Way Community Impact Senior Director Mary Jones said.

Their program starts helping folks in January, but there’s a federally funded program helping people now.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps pay for your utility bill based on your household size and income.

No matter who you get the assistance from, there are organizations willing to help.

“We got our flag up saying we’re here to help, and people can at least come to get the answers and get the direction they need to receive that help,” Leedom said.

To learn more about The Salvation Army’s yearly emergency assistance program click here.

The United Way will begin helping people in January. To learn more click here or call 211.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is assisting people currently. You can learn more about the program here.

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