Apps for utility assistance available next week

Published 1:00 am Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Having trouble paying the summer electric bill?

Help could be on the way for those who qualify for summer cooling assistance through the American Red Cross program Project Share.

“Project SHARE is a utility assistance program administered by the Red Cross on behalf of the utility companies in Alabama,” said Don Johnson, executive director of the Covington County chapter. “It is a program designed to provide assistance to individuals age 65 or older, or those on disability with their heating and cooling bills each year.

“During the summer, Project Share is available to qualifying individuals and families,” he said. “It does not, however, provide for the purchase of fans, air conditioning units or other cooling appliances. Project Share is strictly to provide payment assistance to the utility company.”

All forms of energy use will be considered except propane gas, he said.

In order to qualify for the SHARE program, individuals or families must meet not only age or disability requirements, but also financial requirements. ”The application includes a monthly expense sheet to help assess need for qualifying individuals and families,” Johnson said. “In addition, the summer program requires a medical statement signed by a health-care professional stating the need for cooling.” Johnson said applications for this funding cycle will be distributed beginning on Mon., July 22, at the Red Cross office in Andalusia, the Opp Senior Activities Center and the Florala Senior Activities Center. Once an application is picked up, an appointment may be made with the Red Cross to speak with a Project SHARE caseworker. Appointments will be made Aug. 13-22, Johnson said.

To contact the American Red Cross, call 334-428-2680.