Cold weather resources available for those in need

Because of the colder weather, this can be a busy time of the year for organizations that help people in need. 11-14-14

(WBIR-Knoxville) East Tennessee organizations are ready to serve those in need as winter-like temperatures continue into next week.

Community Action Committee (CAC) Energy and Community Services helps low-income households that need help paying utility bills. Nearly 5,000 Knox County residents applied in October for a one-time benefit payment through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

"So many of our families applied in October because they knew that cold weather would be coming. Last year was a difficult winter season for all of us and our families remember that," said Cecelia Waters, director of CAC Energy and Community Services.

According to Waters, last year they helped close to 8,000 households.

Recipients may only be assisted one time between Oct. 6, 2014 - Sept. 30, 2015. Applications are open in this time frame and are available at the Central Intake Center, the South Neighborhood Center, the North Neighborhood Center, or the East Neighborhood Center.

Program Income Guidelines for LIHEAP remains at 150% of poverty level. For example, a household of four would be eligible for LIHEAP with a maximum monthly gross income of $2,981.25.

RELATED: 5 ways to prepare for cold weather

For those who do not qualify for LIHEAP, there is Project Help.

Project Help is a partnership between Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) and CAC.

According to KUB's website, last year, more than $80,000 in donations helped 325 needy families in Knoxville. KUB customers have the option of donating when paying their monthly bill.

But for those who do not have a home, Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM) is open 365 days out of the year.

"Ordinarily, we shelter nearly 400 people each and we serve nearly 1,000 meals each day," said Sue Renfro, KARM marketing manager.

According to Renfro, KARM needs monetary donations, as well as blankets, sheets and towels.

"In summer, people may have other options of a place to stay but in the wintertime you do need to seek shelter from cold whereas in summer you might be able to find shade," Renfro.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) has a program called Senior Citizens Awareness Network (SCAN). Volunteers check on senior citizens and the shut-in population of Knox County and make sure they have everything they need.

Those interested, should contact Sgt. Glenwood White at 215-5444 or email glenwood.white@knoxsheriff.org.


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