As winter continues, children, adults, and families are still struggling to keep warm as the cold weather ebbs and flows through our mountains.
Eblen Charities began administering the Federal Low Income Energy Assistance Program in partnership with Buncombe County Health and Human Services Dec. 1.
LIEAP is a federally funded initiative that provides a one-time payment to help eligible households pay their heating bills.
Currently, households with someone who is 60 years old or older or having anyone who is disabled and receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services and is at least 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible to receive benefits.
Beginning Jan. 2, LIEAP opened to any family that meets the income guidelines of at least 130 percent of the poverty level.
The program runs through March 31 and even families who may have received assistance through other heating and utility programs may be eligible for the LIEAP funds.
“We have a great responsibility to find ways to reach out and keep those who are most susceptible to the cold keep warm this winter,” said Bill Murdock, executive director of Eblen Charities in a statement. “Those who come to our office are not just part of the statistics we track, but each one is someone’s mother, father, son, or daughter. The are all special to someone and they all are special to us.”
Other heating assistance programs are also available through Eblen Charities. To apply please bring in your electric bill, social security card, and income verification.