Energy assistance available for those in need - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Energy assistance available for those in need

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "I believe with the economy the way it is, people are coming in that have never had to use the program before," said Crowley's Ridge Development Council LIHEAP Manager, Jackie Gunn.

LIHEAP is one of CRDC's most popular programs.

"We could tell that things just weren't getting better.  We knew with the economy the way it is, we knew were going to have more on our mailing list this year," said Gunn.

Gunn says they've already  sent out about eight-thousand applications to the elderly drawing food stamps and those who are disabled drawing food stamps.  She says that's the most they've ever sent out.  Gunn adds many more are coming in to CRDC looking for help.

"We've processed about 35 hundred and we still have baskets full that we're just constantly working on and we're trying to process those as fast as possible," said Gunn.

Gunn says the qualifications for help include a single person household has to have a gross income of 1, 354 dollars a month or less.  A household of four has to have a gross income of 2,756 dollars a month or less.  Gunn says many people who are seeking help share similar stories.

"Usually it's because people have lost their jobs.   Their unemployment has run out and they've not had any luck finding a job," said Gunn.

According to the National Energy Assistance Director's Association, a record number of house holds, nearly 9 million nationwide, are expected to get LIHEAP assistance for 2011's  fiscal year.

"Until the economy gets settled, it's going to continue to rise every year," said Gunn.

Gunn says she sees the relief the help brings by not having to choose one necessity over another. 

"Knowing that they don't have to do without groceries or their kids don't have to do without a coat," said Gunn.

If you have questions about LIHEAP qualifications, contact Crowley's Ridge Development Council at 870-935-8610.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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