Skyrocketing heating costs have people asking for help

Home heating prices are skyrocketing as we approach the winter months. Several groups are working to step up their efforts to help people afford their heating bills. The social workers at the Salvation Army say they are seeing a different type of clientele this year: people who have never asked for help before. Inflation apparently is putting more people than ever in line for help.

Lynnette Valentine-Warren works out of the The Salvation Army in the Fitchburg area. “People don’t know what to do, they really don’t. They are desperate. They are coming in and saying things like I have never had to ask for help before,” said Valentine-Warren.

Action for Boston Community Development or ABCD is also fielding lots of calls for help. Kathy Tobin is Energy Director at ABCD.  “The program is designed to help at last anybody who does qualify and walks through the door. At least help them get through the most critical times,” said Tobin. ABCD helped about 20 thousand homes stay warm last year and they already have 12 applications this year. They are expecting to get help from federal funds. “We are going to need it. These prices are just extraordinarily high,” said Tobin.

The Salvation Army is urging anyone who thinks they need help to reach out. “It was tugging on our heart strings. We were like we need to make this happen. We are all in this boat,” said Valentine-Warren.

The Salvation Army is urging people to look into their Good Neighbor Energy Fund which helps people in crisis so you don’t necessarily have to meet certain income criteria.

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