Hoosiers still dealing with winter energy bill headaches

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FISHERS – Many Hoosiers across central Indiana are still dealing with high winter utility bills and it’s April.

FOX 59 spoke with a woman who lives in Hamilton County. She did not want to be identified, but told us she cannot afford to pay her bills.

“I have a $1,200 electric bill and $300 water bill because winter (was) cold and harsh and I have a big house so I had to warm it up,” she said.

She is a single mother of 4 children. She said she has never asked for help, but needed to this time. She contacted the Good Samaritan Network. She said she received a couple of extensions from her provider, but still cannot afford to pay it.

“I swallowed my pride and called them and asked for help,” she said.

Nancy Chance, the Good Samaritan Network Executive Director, said she was contacted by the resident. Chance said she contacted several agencies and they were able to get money to help the Hamilton County resident pay her rent and for her to keep her lights on for now.

“Everyone that walks in the door is a different story and a different circumstance and all I can say (is) you always hope that somebody will be there for you, if you ever get into that situation,” Chance said.

Chance said their group and several other agencies have been bombarded recently with people who cannot afford to pay their bills.

“What is happening is people are just struggling and it’s like a month delayed,” Chance said.

Chance said donations are down too and she thinks it may be because of the brutal winter we had. She said it does not help either.

“What’s happened is a lot of the companies and businesses and people who sometimes donate are not able to donate because they’ve still haven’t come back from that first 3 months,” Chance said.

If you need assistance, Chance said people should call 211. It does not matter where you live. The operator will find resources for you in the county you live in.

The Hamilton County resident we spoke to on Friday said people should not be shy about asking for help in a situation like the one she is in. She offers advice to Hoosiers who need help paying their bills.

“Just to ask for help ’cause all they can do is say no or yes. So it doesn’t hurt to try,” she said.

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