Local Organizations Help Families Pay Their Utility Bills During COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday, July 9th 2020, 5:13 pm

With many Oklahomans financially impacted by COVID-19, some groups decided to help local families pay their monthly bills.  

“You wouldn’t believe, I’m seeing 11-hundred dollar water bills alone, it’s a huge need, and we’re just happy to be able to meet it,” said Jessie Thompson, with Community Action Agency of Oklahoma City and Canadian Counties.

The organization said they use CARES Act funds from several different grants to help families with their utilities. They started this back in early June and received over 3,400 applications.

“Of those 3,400, we’ve been able to assist 324 households for a total of $282,000,” said Thompson.

Meanwhile, the Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma said they’ve received over 600 requests for utility bill support and spent over $50,000 to fill those requests.

“At this point in time, if you don’t have that money then that utility gets cut off. So then that sets another set of dynamics, where you either become homeless, your whole families displaced,” said Dee Watts with the Salvation Army.

Other organizations like the Oklahoma Department of Human Services provides many programs to help with COVID-19 relief. Though their utility bill assistance is not a direct response to the virus, it is something they normally provide during these hot summer months.

“Being able to pay your utility bills is critically important at any time,” said Patrick Klein with DHS. “Especially so during this time with the record temperatures that we’re having.”