LIHEAP heating assistance now available for low-income families in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The cooler weather brings a financial challenge for thousands of local families.

From the front porch of his home in west Louisville, Maurice Beckley still enjoys what's left of the warm weather, but he knows those days are numbered. In fact, Beckley has already cranked up the heat a few times this season.

But for someone on a fixed income, heating his home is not cheap.

"I sit outside most of the time," Beckley said.

And last year, there was some sticker shock when the gas and electric bill arrived.

"I had one for like $263 like three months in a row," he said.

Beckley is also disabled and got help through a federally funded program that helps low income families.

"Last year, we helped over 25,000 families," said Brandon O'Neal.

O'Neal is a supervisor with the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP. He said that despite the daytime temperatures, now is the time to ask for heating assistance.

"We want to help everyone," O'Neal said. "That's why we want to get the word out."

LIHEAP has several offices throughout the city, and O'Neal said in addition to helping people with their gas and electric bills, his office has eliminated a nuisance.

"This year, we have implemented the appointment system," O'Neal said. "This is the second year that we are utilizing it and no more long lines,"

It was a lifesaver last winter, and that's why Beckley has already applied for help this year.

"It was a blessing in the sky that the program was there for people like me," he said. "You don't want to wait until last minute."

To find out if you qualify for heating assistance or to find the LIHEAP locations, click here.

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