Throughout the year, Americans Helping Americans® provides utility assistance funding to our partners in Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee to keep lights and heat on, and potentially prevent hundreds of families from becoming homeless.
During no time of the year is our program more important than right now when the temperatures in these Appalachian communities are forecast to be in the low to mid 20s this week with snow predicted for the weekend.
In 2021, a total of 1,980 individuals received utility assistance in small towns including Cleveland and Gainesville, Georgia, London and Beattyville, Kentucky, and Jefferson City, Tennessee.
With the need only growing in large part to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, we are working not just to increase our grant funding this year, but to double it to help prevent many more struggling families being forced to choose between paying a utility bill (often less than $100) to keep their heat and power on, or putting food on the table.
As we have heard many times over the years, our utility assistance funding program is often the “last resort” for families who have fallen on hard times and who had nowhere else to turn than our partners in their local communities.
Even worse than having their utilities disconnected is the sad fact that many renters can be evicted by their landlords — even if they’re current on their rent — if they lose power as the property owner becomes concerned about the possibility of pipes bursting and causing serious damage, or that their tenant will fall behind on their rent in the months to come.
In addition, even if they own their own home, parents whose utilities are disconnected can lose custody of their children if state child protection services determine they are living in unsafe conditions.
But, again, thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans®,
untold thousands of children, parents, the elderly, and disabled — many of them veterans who have served our country with distinction — have been able to stay warm in the home they love.