Are Your Neighbors Warm Enough?

Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

Today is the 47th anniversary of Roe v, Wade and you probably think I am going to talk about abortion access. Ha! Fooled you! Not because I don’t want to talk about abortion access or because I don’t have plenty to say about it. I’m not talking about abortion access because there are other voices sounding the call today and I’m happy to let them do the talking.

Instead, I want to talk about heating assistance.

I don’t know what the weather is like where you live but it’s pretty damn cold where I am. That means that people who are struggling to pay bills are living in danger of losing their indoor heating service if money gets tight.

There is a federal programs that provides heating assistance for those who qualify. It’s called the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and it’s an emergency program for people who make very little. It’s tax payer funded and it’s actually pretty non-controversial so Congress doesn’t use it as a political football when discussing spending cuts. if you or anyone you know needs help paying heating assistance, the link is right here.

But if LIHEAP doesn’t work for you for whatever reason, there are other options for getting assistance with paying for heat. A lot of utilities offer something known as rate-payer funds where customers pay into an assistance fund for those in need. There are also state or regional non-profit fuel funds that can help out. Here is a good fact sheet on some of these programs.

My natural gas company offers me the option of adding a fuel fund donation to my bill payment every month and I always do it. It’s an easy way for me to do something for people in my community. I consider it just as important as my contributions to food banks in my area. Food and heat are elemental.

There is really no reason on earth that people should be without heat in America. We have the resources to do even more than we do already at a state and federal level. If you have the ability to something at the individual level, I highly encourage you to do so. Everyone deserves a warm home.

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