Because of the bitter cold, the need for help to keep power and heat on is up 60 percent from last winter.
The organization Heat Up St. Louis, which helps people pay their heating bills, stepped up to help a struggling mother of five. She is grateful for the help.
Taisha Smith was in a difficult spot when her house burned down. She couldn’t afford to support her kids, so she turned over custody to her aunt while she figured things out.
“I was living on the streets. Some people would let me spend the night or two, but I was definitely homeless,” said Smith.
After getting an apartment through assistance, she had problems paying the heating bill.
“I would see Heat Up St. Louis every night on the news. I was just laying here one night and I said let me give them a try,” said Smith.
The move paid off. Smith got $350 so she could have heat.
But with the current cold snap, Heat Up St. Louis anticipates the need will grow.
“We’re going to need some help from the good citizens of the metropolitan area,” said Rev. Earl Nance, Jr. with Heat Up St. Louis.
So far this season, more than 1,300 people have reached out for help. Everything donated goes to helping some pay their heating bills.
“Our motto is every cent, every dollar given to Heat Up St. Louis goes to help those in need. No overhead, no expenses,” said Nance.
Smith says her heat is scheduled to be turned on Thursday. She is also close to getting her kids back because she has housing and heat.
To donate to Heat Up St. Louis, click here.
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