Funds Dry Up for Providing Air Conditioning for Needy Families

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COLUMBIA - Tuesday turned out to be on one of the hottest days of the year so far. Many needy families rely on the help of Mid-Missouri's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which was designed to provide heat in the winter and air condtitioning in the summer for low-income families. The program helped 543 families just this summer in Columbia. 19 days into summer, the fund had already dried up.

Angela Hirsch, Community Services Director at Central Missouri Community Action, works hard with to keep Mid-Missourians cool during the summer heat.

"We saw a decrease in funding, partially due to the sequestration that came from the federal level, as well as cuts to the U.S. budget," she said.

Funding for LIHEAP comes from the Federal government and goes to the Missouri Department of Social Services, where the money is then distributed to families in need. 

"It's very disappointing how great the need is and how limited the resources are," she said. "I don't see the need decreasing."

Money from the program generally goes to families who fall well below the Federal poverty line. LIHEAP spent its entire budget of $233,000 this summer providing money to families in need.