Limited Heating Assistance Funds

By: Domonique Benn
By: Domonique Benn

December 1, 2005
The rise in natural gas prices has more people seeking help this year than before. And with 13 counties throughout the CSRA feeding from the same pot, that money will soon be gone. On Thursday, long lines competed against limited funds, all in order to have heat this winter.

Ceromia Godbee’s gas in her apartment has been turned off for two months. She’s been using a space heater to keep her five kids warm.

“I’ve been calling for months to different places and organizations that they tell you to call and no one has funds,” Godbee said.

That’s until she found some assistance with the Economic Opportunity Authority to help pay her $416 gas bill.

“If it was just me it would be better but I got to support my five kids and they looking at me and I’m trying to get help for them,” Godbee said.

The Economic Opportunity Authority has $175,000 to help those that need help paying their natural gas bill. But those funds are running out fast.

“One of the things we have done is that we have requested an additional $200,000 and if that money is approved then we will be able to serve a lot more people,” said Suarez.

Without this assistance, Amanda Kendrick’s gas would be turned off on Friday.

“They are helping to keep the heat on for my kids and then they will be able to eat,” Kendrick said.

Johnny Mae Hearing is on a fixed income and needs help paying her $700 electric bill.

“It’s rough cause time you pay this and pay that you don’t have anything,” Hearing said.

In the past, Johnny Mae Hearing would have come here to May Park for energy assistance. But all of the $624,000 used to help those with electric energy was gone within 30 days. Now those with electric energy are only helped if they are crisis situation like Hearing.

“I’m on a fixed income and I just can’t put it all in one place,” Hearing said.

Ceromia Godbee is relieved she and five children won’t be left in the cold.

“She said in a couple of days they should have everything situated,” Godbee said.

Today, the Economic Opportunity Authority has applied for an extra $200,000 in order to help people with propane, electric or gas bills.

The following three locations will provide natural gas assistance until all of the money is used. There are also limited funds for those in crisis situation.
Economic Opportunity Authority – 333 Telfair Street
Hyde Park – 2024 Goldenrod
West Inn Center – 1730 Walker Street

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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