Last Modified: Monday, January 13, 2014 2:11 PM
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:
Allen P. August Multi-Purpose Center, 2001 Moeling St., 9 a.m.-2:40 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
VFW post on U.S. 90. 9-11:40 a.m. the first and third Thursday of each month.
DeQuincy City Hall, 300 N. Holly St., 9-11:40 a.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month.
Westlake City Hall, 1001 Mulberry St., 9-11:40 a.m. the third Monday of each month.
Ward 7 Recreation Center, 1615 Horridge St., 9-11:40 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month.
Iowa Multi-Purpose Center, 207 U.S. 90, 9-11:40 a.m. the fourth Thursday of each month.
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.