People in Need of Heating Bill Assistance

By: Joe Hellriegel Email
By: Joe Hellriegel Email

"This program right here helps so many clients each year, especially the seniors," said Community Services Block Grant Director Sylvia Johnson.

The Coastal Plain Area Economic Opportunity Authority offers heating assistance to the general public by helping pay the utility bills. Funded by the Department of Human Services, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program directly pays the home energy supplier for gas, electricity, propane gas, wood, coal or kerosene. With the winter storm, a lot of people are in need of help.

"This year it's really been hectic. We've received a lot of phone calls, I mean we receive hundreds of calls, that's on a daily basis," said Johnson.

Families do have to meet the requirements to be eligible for assistance, and help comes on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The Coastal Plain Area EOA Website states, "To participate in the program, the family must meet a yearly income equal to, or less than 60% of the State median income. For a one-person household, that would be $21,029; for two people, $27,500, for three people $33,970; for four people, $40,441; for five people, $46,912; for six people; $53,382, for seven people, $54,595; for eight people, $55,809 (for each additional person, add $1,213 to annual income.)"

One of the difficulties for the assistance program is funding and meeting the demands of the people that need the help.

"The thing is, we wish we could help everybody but there is just not enough funds to assist folks, juts not enough funding," said Johnson.

The assistance program wants to make sure people know there are alternatives if they aren't selected.

"We always strongly advise all the clients to please make monthly payment arrangements with their vendors," said Johnson.

Here is a list of all the counties that have the Community Services Center.

Ben Hill County CSC – 116 N. Johnston Street, Fitzgerald, GA - (229) 426-5177

Berrien County CSC – 402 Hazel Avenue, Nashville, GA - (229) 686-7871

Brooks County CSC – 400 Courtland Avenue, Quitman, GA – (229) 263-7818

Cook County CSC – 303 S. College Street, Sparks, GA – (229) 549-8780

Echols County CSC – 170 Church of God Street, Statenville, GA – (229) 559-3472

Irwin County CSC – 311 Vo Tech Road, Ocilla, GA 31774 – (229) 468-5186

Lanier County CSC – 104 S. Oak Street, Lakeland, GA - (229) 482-3435

Lowndes County CSC – 900 S. Troupe Street, Valdosta, GA - (229) 242-8814

Tift County CSC – 2737 S. Central Avenue, Ste 4, Tifton, GA - (229) 382-2960

Turner County CSC – 124 E. College Street, Ashburn, GA – (229) 567-2844

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