LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Thousands of Jefferson County residents who need the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, came to the Urban Government Center for help Wednesday morning.
“I need this LIHEAP program for my grandkids,” resident Jeff McGee said. “I want to keep them safe and warm.”
McGee often takes care of his six grandchildren at home, but making utility payments is difficult since he has been out of a job for a year.
“It is tough,” McGee said. “If you don't know, you know now. If you have a job, you better hold on to it.”
Dozens of people lined the hallways at the government center on the first day appointments could be made to apply for the program. Accepted participants will receive a onetime payment to help prevent a disconnection in service between January 7 and March 31.
Last winter, temperatures were mild in Jefferson County, but LIHEAP still served more about 11,500 county residents.
This year $2.3 million in federal money will be used to fund the program in Jefferson County, but that is down 10 percent from last year. LIHEAP officials say they do not know why there is less federal money provided.
“We say March 31 or when funds are depleted, it could end before that,” Debbie Belt, with Metro Community Services and Revitalization said. “But there are plenty of appointments. We do not feel a sense of urgency, but come make an appointment when you are able to make an appointment.”
Residents wishing to apply must have an appointment. Appointments can be scheduled, in person only, Jan. 2 and 3 between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Central CAP Office located at the Urban Government Center, 810 Barret Ave, and at the same location on Jan. 4 between 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Applicants must be Jefferson County residents with a household income at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines (example for a household of four, the gross monthly income cannot exceed $2,498). For the Crisis Phase, applicants must have received a brown, disconnection notice from their utility service provider or an eviction notice if their utilities are included in the rent.
The following documentation must be presented when scheduling an appointment:
1) Picture ID (if available)
2) Most recent LG&E bill (must be a brown bill), or an eviction notice if utilities are included in the rent