Heating help still available

Community Budget Center receives additional funds for heating bill aid

The second payment of a grant to help residents with heating bills has been received by the Community Budget Center (CBC) in Craig. The grant is funded by the Colorado Energy Assistance Foundation, a state run program. The payment was for $875.

This fund will be distributed throughout the community on an as-needed, which is decided on by a committee on a case-by-case basis.

The Community Budget Center is a private, non-profit, self-funding charity. The Center accepts donations at the store and sells the good, sometimes giving the goods directly to those in need. The money is used to supply food, shelter, clothing, medical and transportation assistance to the needy.

Once an individual or family is approved, the Community Budget Center will make payments directly to the utility company concerned. The funds cannot be used to pay deposits, nor are undocumented residents eligible.

"This is the second payment of a three-installment grant, with the last payment coming in the fall," said Charlotte Craft, treasurer of the board of the Community Budget Center. "Historically, the Foundation gives money that covers the months that the Low Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is not active. Now the Foundation will be offering full year grants in October of this year, so it will work alongside LEAP because of the drastic increases in heating costs. LEAP's guidelines, along with these increases, have caused some people to slip through the cracks.

"This money can be used for any heating source -it can be used to by firewood, to buy propane and can be used to pay electric heating bills"

CBC plans to apply for this next grant, and expects an increase in the amount, which will be based on the CBC's history and projected need, Craft said.

"There should be a bigger pot of money because they're expanding to a full year basis."

Anyone who has a great enough need can apply for this assistance by filling out a form at the Community Budget Center at 555 Yampa Avenue. This form will then be turned over to the Center's board for consideration.

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