Struggling to keep warm

Published 6:09 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Each year hundreds of Escambia County families worry about their energy bills during the winter months.
Now that cold weather has finally pushed its way into south Alabama, Atmore residents have turned up the heat and bundled up. If you're one of those families that can bump up the thermostat, consider yourself blessed.
"Surprisingly we have some families in Atmore that have inadequate housing and don't have the proper insulation to keep the cold air out," Atmore Mayor Howard Shell said. "If you look very closely you can always find someone who is in need and needs this assistance. Anything that you do for people that are in need, whatever the time of year is, especially the elderly is a great thing. They've paid their dues and have earned the right to ask for a helping hand along the way."
To aid low-income families in need of energy bill relief this winter, Gov. Bob Riley awarded $7.29 million in grants last week to assist with costs. According to the Office of the Governor, the grants will be issued to 22 Community Action Agencies throughout the state and awarded to low-income families based on need. The funds will definitely help families heat their houses this winter.
"This grant helps assure low-income families and individuals, including the elderly and families with small children, that they will be able to keep their homes warm this winter," Gov. Riley said.
The grant is being made available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and is aimed at helping eligible low-income households afford the energy required to heat their homes. The Community Action agencies of Baldwin, Escambia, Clarke, Monroe and Conecuh counties were awarded $402,344.
Applications for assistance are being taken at local Community Action Agencies.

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