More People In Need of Heating Bill Assistance
By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Even though the Arctic blast is gone, winter is here for a few more months and the freezing temperatures, combined with a bad economy, mean more Oklahomans than ever are struggling to stay warm.
The phone has been ringing non-stop from open till close at the Salvation Army as people look for utility assistance.
"The individuals just don't have a place to turn. Their bills are going up considerably because they're having to turn on their heat and electricity in order to heat their homes," said Ashley Jones, the Salvation Army Social Services Director.
Since the wintry blast hit, the demand for help to stay warm is heating up. The Salvation Army said they've been receiving 250 calls a day from people needing help with their heating bill and the requests are increasing by the day.
"We've seen an unusual amount of new clients and we attribute that to the economic challenges going on in the world today. So we're seeing numerous requests from individuals and a lot of clients we've never seen," Jones said.
The Salvation Army and ONG have teamed up for over two decades helping thousands of families in the past with a program called Share the Warmth.
"More people are under economic stress, the need is always there and it has grown," said ONG spokesperson Don Sherry.
But there are not enough funds to help everyone so ONG is asking customers to help by paying a little extra on their bill which will help many families in need.
"If every individual contributed $1 on their bill this month that would be a blessing," Jones said.