skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, February 26, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

ND makes the grade in a national report evaluating public school support; SCOTUS justices express free speech concerns about GOP-backed social media laws; NH "kids on campus" program boosts retention; proposed law bans hemp sales to Hoosiers younger than 21.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court hears arguments on whether social media can restrict content. Biden advisors point to anti-democracy speeches at CPAC, and the President heads to the US-Mexico border appealing to voters on immigration and border issues.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

Ohio's Winter Crisis Program Begins

play audio
Play

Tuesday, November 1, 2022   

Rising energy costs are nothing short of frightening for many Ohioans as cooler fall temperatures will soon settle in. But assistance is available for some of the most vulnerable. The cost to heat homes with electricity, natural gas, propane and heating oil is expected to reach its highest level in a decade, averaging about $1,200 for the season.

Paul Billups, director of energy assistance at Step Forward, an anti-poverty agency in Cuyahoga County, said they connect eligible Ohioans to the Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps pay heating bills.

"Clients who have never reached out for assistance before are starting to come in, and we know this because they are not in our database. So we're seeing an influx
of new clients who've been hit hard by the recession and now they are having to reach out," he said.

Ohio also has a Winter Crisis Program, which begins Nov. 1, and provides one-time assistance for eligible Ohioans who are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected from their utility service or have less than 25% of bulk fuel available.

Great Lakes Community Action Partnership Energy Assistance Manager Joyce McCauley-Benner said the Winter Crisis Program is crucial for people on limited incomes.

"This is a really important program, especially for those who don't have those regulated utilities, where you have the high-cost utilities," McCauley-Benner said. So propane, firewood, and in those non-regulated areas we really want to stress that there is help for you. Please come see us."

To qualify
for Home Energy Assistance Programs, income must be at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines. That's roughly $48,000 for a family of four. Billups said his agency has a great referral network for those who earn more.

"If for some reason we have to deny an applicant because they're over the income guidelines, we always give them all the information we have available at that time for other agencies that may be able to assist that may have a higher income threshold," Billups said.

McCauley-Benner also recommends that Ohioans check out the Percentage of Income Payment Plan, which can help manage energy bills year-round.

"It's based on your income and not based on your usage," she said. "If people are really concerned because they have limited income, we can screen them and see if they qualify for that payment plan because that will really help protect them for the rest of the winter."

Community Action Agencies throughout Ohio can help residents apply for energy assistance and other programs. Learn more at oacaa.org.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Oregon lawmakers have two weeks left in the session to approve funding for the Summer EBT program that helps feed children when school's out. (Lindsay Trapnell/Oregon Food Bank)

Social Issues

play sound

A program that would provide food benefits to kids during the summer still needs funding approval from the Oregon Legislature. The state has …


Social Issues

play sound

Minnesota lawmakers face growing calls this session to boost access to affordable housing and there is a proposal to lend a voice to existing renters …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Legislation in Massachusetts would ban some of the tactics used by "crisis pregnancy centers" to prevent people from having abortions. Many of the …


A groundbreaking study calls for philanthropic foundations to acknowledge past harms and support reparations for Black Americans. (NCRP)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report said philanthropic organizations need to reexamine the source of their wealth, which it asserted often came from systemic racism and …

play sound

Americans' confidence in higher education has plummeted but students and staff at Maine's Colby College hope continued community outreach will help br…

The nonnative quagga mussel has been found in the Snake River. (Cavan/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

It is National Invasive Species Awareness Week, and plants and critters not native to the Northwest are wreaking havoc on some landscapes, including …

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new program in a Washington public library system is helping people monitor their blood pressure at home. The American Heart Association has …

Environment

play sound

By Kayla Benjamin for The Washington Informer.Broadcast version by Brett Peveto for Maryland News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Ne…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021