Piedmont couple struggles to heat home during cold snap

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TRINITY, N.C. -- These cold nights are even colder for so many families in the Piedmont who can't afford to heat their homes.

Miriam Epperson and John Cardwell live in Trinity. The couple depends on an electrical space heater and bundling up to stay warm throughout the nights. "If the power goes out we have no heat, just blankets," explains Miriam Epperson, who doesn't have heat in her home.

The couple is on a fixed income and heating just doesn't make the cut. "You have to choose between eating and heating, and you know which one will have to come first, eating," explains Epperson.

Epperson says that during the days isn't too bad, the chill comes with the night. She says the temperature in her home has gotten down to 38 degrees, but the average is around 48 degrees during the night.

The couple did have a propane tank, but used it up a couple weeks ago when we had those single degree temperatures.

Despite the cold nights and adding on layers, the two say they're blessed.

"I’ve got a roof over my head. I'm not out here totally freezing; at least I have a little heat. Thank the good Lord," says Epperson.

Even though financial help is limited the couple did say they're gotten help from local organizations when they needed it.


  • Tim

    Its time like this when you think back of that grocery store trip and see certain people using food stamps to pay for their order and then walk outside and pop the trunk of their cadillac on 22’s to put their groceries in. Or how you may know of someone abusing the system and getting handouts and freebies….its thing like what you have read in the story above that make me angry that you have people struggling to pay bills and not even able to afford heat and then you have others cheating the system to prevent the ones who actually need it from getting it.

  • Dorothy

    Please post something about how this couple can be helped. We can give them has for their heater, just let us know how.

  • Bigjohn

    The moral of this story is you need to quit worrying about the 25% who cheat the system and have compassion on the 75% who really need help. Quit listening to the politicians and the rich who want to make their budgets look good off the backs of the poor and make the unemployment numbers look good by cutting people off the roles that worked for years and paid into the unemployment insurance fund.

  • Tim

    I really do not believe there is a moral to this story Big john….What I think is that there are people abusing the system and preventing the ones who really need it to be helped.

  • William W.

    Seniors who have worked all their life should NEVER have to worry about food, a roof over their head/ heat and air, or medicine……..this country has its priorities way out of order. We can give all these billions of dollars out to foreign countries and illegal immigrants but can’t help our own, sad world we live in today.

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