At risk: Utility assistance for low income families, seniors and disabled

1 year 2 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:50:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
By: Jenna Puritz, KOMU Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - David Robinson is one of the hundreds of people who will lose help paying his utilities, if a federal program is cut.

"Bottom line is, I'd possibly be homeless," Robinson said. 

The Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program is a federally mandated program that helps pay utility bills for the older people, people with disabilities and families that qualify for low income housing. It provides heating and cooling for homes, and it also incorporates a weatherization program to help with energy efficiency. 

"Generally, three or four times a year I need their services to help with my utilities assistance, and that would be the electrical part," Robinson said. 

He has lived in Columbia since the 1990s, but hasn't always struggled payment-to-payment. He reminisced about a time when he made six-figures, but said life gets in the way. 

"I've been in this same predicament to sometime in my life, and there's been people to help me," Robinson said. 

Robinson, along with people from Central Missouri Community Action and the Sierra Club, met Wednesday at the Family Resource Center to discuss the need to continue LIHEAP. 

The program serves Boone, Cole, Callaway, Cooper, Howard, Osage, Monitaeu and Audrain counties. it provides assistance to more than 6,000 families, more than half of which are older or disabled. 

In addition to utility assistance, a weatherization component is included as well. 

Central Missouri Community Action Weatherization Program Manager Candy West said, "With weatherization, an auditor goes out to the house and they educate the household on what they can do to improve energy efficiency." 

West said improving systems, such as new insulation and cleaning out air ducts, can help utility costs come down. 

The services are free to anyone who meets the guidelines of falling within 200 percent of the poverty level.

Carolyn Amparan, the vice chair of the Missouri Chapter Sierra Club, said the issues of not being able to afford utilities coincides with environmental ramifications.

Amparan said, because of climate change, people should be worried about bills in the summer time instead of winter. 

"Right now, eight days a year are over 95 degrees. By 2040 or 2050, it could be up to 35 days over 95 degrees," she said. 

Congress has 10 more days to make a decision whether to continue or cut funding for LIHEAP. 

The Central Missouri Community Action webpage offers a way to apply for energy assistance.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - People gathered at Hickman High School on Saturday to celebrate holidays from several cultures. KOPN Community Radio... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:10:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College had a special moment during the graduation ceremony Saturday to honor a student who died in... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 8:15:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Diocese confirmed Saturday three people were added to its list of clergy accused of... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:31:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A 19-year-old woman was shot Saturday afternoon near Aspen Heights Parkway, police said. At around 2:40 p.m.,... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 4:40:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Capitol has recently completed an effort to restore and conserve the building's... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 3:26:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Anyone walking around Boonville might be able to play a game of "I spy" now that painted rocks... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 10:50:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- High school football teams from around the state will travel to Memorial Stadium for the next five years to... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:41:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in Sports
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke , who's facing federal investigations into his travel, political... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 8:53:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - The Southern Boone Area YMCA will build a new 15,714 square-foot facility in the next two years, if... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:48:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities are looking for a man who is suspected of fleeing to Missouri after officers shot... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:12:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A former county official from southeast Missouri already in prison on a conviction of exploiting the... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:09:52 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - The Holts Summit Police Department has offered to include New Bloomfield in its coverage area for the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:12:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON - A new report released Friday ranks Missouri 48th in the nation for tobacco use prevention programs. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The South End Zone Project at Faurot Field is just over halfway through its construction timeline and people... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:46:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - Connie Cashion is the 2018 winner for the city's Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award. The award goes to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:16:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - A Fulton nonprofit surpassed their volunteer goal and is able to give over 400 children a Christmas miracle.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway will join the investigation into Josh Hawley's use of funds during his Senate... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:44:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
5am 31°
6am 31°
7am 31°
8am 32°