Some midstaters to get extra help heating their homes

Written by Craig Cohen | Nov 11, 2009 9:45 AM

(Carlisle) -- Some midstate residents will get extra help heating their houses this winter even after federal funding runs out. The United Way of Carlisle and Cumberland County has raised about $15,000 to help as many as 60 families in need. Executive Director Jeff Conway says the organization recommends people apply to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program first and view these funds as secondary. "We're trying to help those people who make just enough money so they don't qualify for LIHEAP but are really struggling to get by," he says. "LIHEAP last year was at 210 percent. This year they're at 150 percent of the poverty level which makes a big difference to a lot of families." Conway says his agency will give up to $400 per person -- even if they receive LIHEAP funds -- and pay the energy suppliers directly. He adds most requests will come in February and March when LIHEAP money dries up. Meantime, United Way of the Capitol Region and United Way of Lancaster County do not dole out such grants. They refer people to community groups that specialize in heating assistance.

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