Utility aid apps available today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beginning today, applications are available once again across Covington County for those who would like to take part in the American Red Cross’ Project SHARE program.

According to Don Johnson, executive director of the South Central Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross, the program is meant to provide aid in paying utility bills for residents meeting certain criteria.

“Project SHARE is a utility assistance program administered by the Red Cross on behalf of the utility companies in Alabama,” Johnson said. “It is a program designed to provide assistance to individuals age 62 or older, or those on disability, with their heating and cooling bills each year.”

While Project SHARE is available to those who qualify to provide cooling assistance, Johnson said the program does not provide for the purchase of fans, air conditioning units or other cooling appliances.

“Project SHARE is strictly to provide for payment assistance to the utility company,” Johnson said.

In order to qualify for the program, Johnson said individuals or families must meet age or disability requirements, as well as financial requirements.

“The application includes a monthly expense sheet to help assess need for potentially qualifying individuals and families,” Johnson said. “In addition, the summer program requires a medical-need statement signed by a health care professional stating the need for cooling for a member of the household.”

Johnson said applications, which are available beginning today, can be found at several area locations, including: the front desk of the Red Cross office at 234 Hillcrest Dr. in Andalusia; the Florala Senior Center, located at 1338 4th St.; the Senior Activities Center on Church Street in Andalusia; and the Senior Activities Center located on Brantley Street in Opp.

Once an application is picked up, Johnson said appointments can then be made with the Red Cross in order to speak with a Project SHARE caseworker. Appointments can be made beginning today by phone at 334-428-2680 or at the County Administration Building on Hillcrest Drive in Andalusia.

Johnson stressed that funds are limited; therefore, appointments should be made as soon as possible.