Thousands of Colorado Springs families are in desperate need for money to pay their utility bills. In fact, the need has doubled from last year.
So organizations like Energy Outreach Colorado are stepping in to help. The group is giving more than $50,000 to 6 non-profit agencies, like Catholic Charities in Pueblo and Northern Churches Care and the Salvation Army in Colorado Springs.
All this money will go to good use to help families who struggle financially. As a single mother, Jessica Westrich has a hard time making ends meet. "I have 2 kids of my own and my brother. My car was broken down, so I couldn't work. I'm going to school, so it was tough."
And Westrich isn't alone. Thousands of people will receive assistance for their utility bill this winter. "From women, single parents with kids, men. We're seeing every kind of person you can imagine. Every situation is unique, but they're desperate and just can't pay their utility bill," says Jimm McCord of the Salvation Army.
So places like the Salvation Army come to the rescue---giving away more than $60,000 in assistance. "We don't want people to go without their utilities," says McCord.
And more people are going without electricity or heat this year, compared to last year. That’s because of an increase in utility bills. More people are short on funds and work is scarce. And those who do work are earning less and having a harder time financially.
Money is especially tight for Westrich, who couldn't have survived without the help. "My utilities were almost turned off and they gave me money when no one else would,” she says.
The need for assistance is expected to increase in the next few months. So the organizations receiving this money agree, this donation is absolutely necessary.
If you need assistance paying your energy bill, call 1-866-HEAT-HELP.