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Friday, October 24, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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(Metro Energy Savers)

(Metro Energy Savers)

Low-income energy assistance available

Last Modified: Monday, January 13, 2014 2:11 PM

By John Guidroz / American Press

Starting today, Calcasieu Parish residents can schedule appointments to apply for financial assistance to help afford their electricity and gas utilities through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Juana Felton-Taylor, operations manager with the parish’s human services department, said the program provides assistance to residents based on their total income. Residents over age 60, households with children under 5 years old, and the disabled are given priority.

“Our major increase in clientele happens during the summer months, especially the elderly who need energy on constantly,” she said. “Some have bills from $700 to $1,000 a month.”

Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. She said the money comes from the Louisiana Housing Corp.

“The money is based on the number of low-income families, along with census reports and reports from the human services department,” she said.

Felton-Taylor said residents can apply three times a year for the assistance — twice for non-crisis and once for crisis — if funding is available. She said crisis application means that the utilities are at risk of being disconnected.

Felton-Taylor said the program’s funding has decreased over the last several years. She said Calcasieu received $1.3 million two years ago and has now received $1.1 million.

“The federal government is decreasing social service programs like LiHEAP,” she said.

Felton-Taylor said more than 3,600 households in Calcasieu, or more than 7,600 residents, benefitted from LiHEAP, according to figures from 2012-2013.

To schedule an appointment, call 721-4033. Calls will be accepted 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Here are the scheduled appointments throughout the parish:

Lake Charles

Allen P. August Multi-Purpose Center, 2001 Moeling St., 9 a.m.-2:40 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

Sulphur

VFW post on U.S. 90. 9-11:40 a.m. the first and third Thursday of each month.

DeQuincy

DeQuincy City Hall, 300 N. Holly St., 9-11:40 a.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month.

Westlake

Westlake City Hall, 1001 Mulberry St., 9-11:40 a.m. the third Monday of each month.

Vinton

Ward 7 Recreation Center, 1615 Horridge St., 9-11:40 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month.

Iowa

Iowa Multi-Purpose Center, 207 U.S. 90, 9-11:40 a.m. the fourth Thursday of each month.

Elsewhere

Starks VFW post, on La. 27 West, 9-11:40 a.m. the second Thursday of each month.

Ward 2 Fire Station on Galley Road, Bell City-Hayes, 9-11:40 a.m. the first Monday of each month.

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