(KMOV) – Agencies that help struggling families pay their utility bills report they are running out of money, but there are still some agencies offering assistance.
The Human Development Corporation says it has drawer after drawer of applications from people needing help, as well as a waiting list with hundreds of other names.
“We had to start turning people away and start a waiting list because all of our funds are obligated,” says Jacqueline Hutchinson of the HDC.
The Salvation Army says the number of calls for help is up as well, and clients are coming in with utility bills up to four times higher than normal.
Ameren UE says a typical bill throughout the year is about $100 a month. The company’s “dollar more” program, where customers pay an extra dollar on their bill to help the needy, raises about $700,000 a year. The company just added about $250,000 to that.
Ameren will also work with those who can’t pay their bill.
President Obama could release more funds to help with utility bills through LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Emergency Assistance Program. However, there’s no word on when or if that will happen.
Dozens of social service agencies in the area offer assistance with utility bills. For more information, click here.