Low-income families line up for crisis cash

By Jon Chrisos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Money is now being handed out to low-income families in Jefferson County to help pay heating bills. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) opened its doors Tuesday morning after people signed up for appointments last week.

Lines and tension were running high Tuesday. Michelle Hatton was in line for help. Without $210, her LG&E service will be disconnected by the end of the Tuesday. She qualifies for LIHEAP money, but her appointment isn't until tomorrow.

Michelle's story is just one of hundreds like it. Everyone who is eligible has a disconnect notice from LG&E. To keep the program organized, recipients sign up for an appointment to make their case and then get their money.

"We see as many people as we can and process as many people as we can, but we can't see everyone in the first few days. We have to spread it out and process as many as we can each day," Debbie Belt with the Community Action Partnership said.

Many people walked out with as much as $400 crisis cash, but not Michelle; she'll have to wait until her appointment. More than 1,600 people signed up last week for appointments this week. Those who signed up today will have to wait until next week.

Those who run the program tell those waiting for an appointment to call LG&E and explain the situation. LG&E won't talk about specific accounts, but says it will consider every situation on a case by case basis.

Appointments can be made at the Community Action Partnership office on Barret Avenue. You'll need to bring a disconnection notice (or an eviction notice) and your ID. The program will continue until the end of March or when it runs out of money.

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