Piedmont residents in need lining up for energy assistance

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The Salvation Army in High Point is now able to serve more people in a larger facility for energy bill assistance. In just two weeks, they’ve served more than 400 clients. There is a line nearly all day every day.

They are ranging from 30 to 70 clients a day, and that’s just in one city.

“There is unfortunately such a thing as the working poor,” said Antoine Dalton, director of social services for The Salvation Army. “So a lot of families and even two-parent households still need that additional support in order to sustain.”

The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) funds are thanks to a federal grant. The goal is that when a family has an emergency, they can get assistance paying their power bill so the rest of their bills don’t get behind. And, said Dalton, so they don’t risk getting their power cut off for non-payment. “We are really being able to help the ones that are in the crisis situation,” added Dalton.

A woman named Robbin was at the center Tuesday. She’s a single working mom with two children and says gets help at The Salvation Army every so often. “My monthly bills are budgeted really down to the dollar,” she explained.

So when bed bugs turned up in her daughter’s room and bed, she had to face a choice. Pay to clean up the room and buy a new bed… or pay the power bill.

“Because I'm a single parent, and it's just my income that I take care of my household with, I couldn't pay the light bill and get the bed. So I came to Salvation Army for assistance and I'm so thankful for the program.”

They were able to pay her bill and help get some clean linens to take home for her daughter. She’ll now be able to afford a bed.

The Salvation Army estimates being able to potentially help 13,000 clients this year with this $700,000 fund.

For more information about CIP funds and energy assistance, contact The Salvation Army in your city. Clients should be prepared to bring their past due bill that can’t exceed 60 days, proof of income and a Social Security card for each member of the household.

You can also visit ncdhhs.gov for more information about the Low Income Energy Assistance Program.