Funding delays limit heating assistance to emergency cases only

Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 4:47 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 12:10 AM
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Some of Augusta’s neediest residents could be left in the cold this month until more federal funding is available for home heating assistance.

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CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority employee Selethia McCladdie, left, helps Augusta resident Barbara Jones, and other low-income residents, apply for heating assistance in crisis situations who have either had their electricity turned off or who are in danger of losing their power.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority employee Selethia McCladdie, left, helps Augusta resident Barbara Jones, and other low-income residents, apply for heating assistance in crisis situations who have either had their electricity turned off or who are in danger of losing their power.

Meg Mirshak
Staff Writer
Twitter: @megmirshak
E-mail | 706-823-3228

The CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority delayed the application period for its Energy Assistance Program until January. Initially, low-income residents could apply beginning Monday.

Some funds leftover from November when low-income elderly and disabled signed up for assistance will be used this month to help residents whose utilities have been disconnected or are in immediate danger of being disconnected, said Patricia Johnson, energy coordinator for the CSRA EOA.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to serve a lot of families in December who have an emergency,” Johnson said.

The leftover funds total about $320,000, or enough to help 1,000 households, Johnson said. Typically, the CSRA EOA Energy Assistance Program serves more than 4,000 residents each month in Richmond and 12 surrounding counties.

Barbara Jones, of Augusta, received a notice from Georgia Power on the day after Thanksgiving that her electricity, which is used to heat her home, would be cut off this Friday.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do,” said Jones who applied Monday for emergency assistance. “It was a blessing for me to find out about this.”

With help from the CSRA EOA, Georgia Power extended services for Jones while her application is processed, which can take up to 14 days.

A steady stream of people were turned away from the EOA office on Telfair Street on Monday. Johnson told many who were not considered “crisis cases” to apply in January.

Johnson said funds haven’t been available in December since 2010, leaving some residents struggling to keep their heat on during winter weather.

“This is a problem we suffer from yearly because we don’t have funds to serve our community year-round,” she said. “A lot of people are going to be in the dark.”


If your utilities have been disconnected or are in immediate jeopardy of being disconnected, call (877) 724-0706 to schedule an appointment.

Others needing energy assistance can apply Jan. 6 to Jan. 17 at the Carrie J. Mays Center, 1014 Eleventh Ave. Only 175 applications will be taken daily from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To apply, you must have a picture ID for all adults age 18 and older in the house, Social Security cards for all household members, proof of household income and a recent heating bill.

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or legally admitted alien and have income at or below 160 percent of the poverty level in Georgia.

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InChristLove 12/02/13 - 08:16 pm
Excuse me for saying but if

Excuse me for saying but if Ms. Jones would use the money she got her new hairdo with and pay her electric bill, there wouldn't be an issue with the services being cut off.

pgapeach2 12/02/13 - 09:49 pm
I thought that

I thought that was a head scarf she was wearing. She looks too old to be wearing those colors in her head. If she's not that old, father time has not been good to her.

happychimer 12/02/13 - 10:15 pm
I too think it is a scarf,

I too think it is a scarf, but since when should a woman not try to make herself look better?

KSL 12/03/13 - 03:16 am
You think that makes her look

You think that makes her look better?

InChristLove 12/03/13 - 06:27 am
I wasn't sure what it was

I wasn't sure what it was myself but if you click on the second picture, enlarge it you will notice a pony-tail in back. Never seen a scarf with a band around it hanging down the back of the neck. I could be wrong but it looks like a hair piece.

robert2410 12/03/13 - 06:45 am
The heating assistance should

The heating assistance should be limited to emergency cases all the time. If it is not an emergency, what the "bleep" would they be giving the money away for?

seenitB4 12/03/13 - 08:19 am
A good program for the true needy

I give to this program & think it serves a should go to the elderly & true needy...some folks have died from the cold & a few bucks a month could help save a life.

LillyfromtheMills 12/03/13 - 09:10 am
I too give to this program

And when it's really cold, I wear extra clothing.

Sweet son
Sweet son 12/03/13 - 01:30 pm
Just another entitlement!

If someone was truly in need the community/church etc. would take care of them. Most could lose the cellphone or cable tv/internet and make up the money for heating costs. If I knew someone truly in need without all of the frills then I would give them the money!!!!

Stunned 2
Stunned 2 12/03/13 - 04:12 pm
and, Everybody is grinning..the givers & the takers

and, Everybody is grinning..the givers & the takers. Sometimes-- giving swells one's own self esteem up (is 'uplifting'), and sometimes there is too much collecting & giving going on. The 'takers' make all the rounds..the word is out and the same ones show up for every freebie and give away. A few years back --a well-heeled group of downtown employees all pitched in to 'make a special Christmas' for the housekeeping lady (she worked but also received every kind of public assistance available, also). A turkey, a ham, Christmas gifts for everyone in her family. There was so much stuff - the recipient had to call her daughter's 'boyfriend' to bring his car around to pick it all up. He graciously picked her & all the gifts up - then took her home & beat her and her daughter up- then sold everything for his drug money. But, everybody was grinning earlier....
I don't support gathering stuff up from hard-working employees any more. They have bills of their own to pay.

deestafford 12/03/13 - 05:07 pm
Do y'all remember when all this federal heating assistance was

supposed to be temporary because of the extremely cold winter and those who were against it said it would become an entitlement and never go away? Well, that's what has's now supposed to be here every year.

Wasn't it Ronald Reagan who said, "There's nothing so permanent as a temporary government program?"

Let the families, neighbors, and churches help our and then if there's still a need other sources can be tapped before any government---local or state--gets involved. The federal government should never be involved in something like this. If someone thinks that, let them show me the portion of the US Constitution which authorizes it.

happychimer 12/03/13 - 05:46 pm
KSL read what I wrote. I said

KSL read what I wrote. I said "try". It is not up to me to decide if her hair looks good. She might not like the way I wear my hair. I wear mine the way I want to' not to please others. If she likes her hair that way, and it makes her happy, then so be it.

spirit 12/03/13 - 11:19 pm
I don't think the post was

I don't think the post was about her hair, but you know what they say small minds talk about people. You are rocking the hair Miss Barbara! they are just jealous :)

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