LIHEAP, or Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, provides important energy cost relief to thousands of our neighbors, and the number of people receiving assistance this year is growing.
Lisa Cheairs has five children to keep warm this winter, and with an expected double-digit increase in energy prices, that burden is becoming too heavy to hold.
Lisa and her aunt stopped by the Rockford Salvation Army, one of LIHEAP's intake sites, to fill out an application for assistance. At Rockford's Human Services Department, energy director Mark Bixby says they're expecting to help between 8,000 and 9,000 households this year, a significant increase from last year.
LIHEAP, which runs through April, provides a one-time benefit to eligible households to be used for energy bills. The amount of payment is determined by income, household size and several other factors, but Bixby says whether you use the LIHEAP program or not, energy costs can place a severe stress on a family's budget and hopefully this assistance will warm up Lisa Chearis' budget so she'll be able to afford all the basic necessities her children need this winter.
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Source: www.eren.doe.gov contributed to this report.