The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

"The hardship of being homeless with children is what I would like people to see.  When you look into my children’s faces and in their eyes in that picture, they’re only one and five years old, but you can see the stress and the loneliness. Especially in my oldest son because he’s been through before.  When we were homeless we spent a lot of time outside just to get out and clear our heads. When you’re homeless it seems like it’s not just being homeless from having a home; it’s being homeless from having self-respect and self-worth, and just not being able to do what you want to do."

Energy Assistance

The high cost of heating one’s home in the winter is a tremendous burden on Philadelphia’s low-income families.  Being without heat in the middle of winter is a crisis, and families will do whatever they can to keep warm, including running a cooking stove to heat the house.

Low-income residents access emergency utility assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Income eligibility levels are higher for LIHEAP than for TANF, so many families do not realize that they may qualify for the program.  For families facing a heating utility shut off who have already accessed LIHEAP can apply for additional help from the Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF).

In addition to taking advantage of LIHEAP grants to provide one-time relief from high energy bills, low-income families can also lower their bills throughout the year by enrolling utility budget programs.  

  • Philadelphia Energy Company (PECO)
  • Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) 
  • Philadelphia Water Department (PWD)

Current Issue

Pennsylvania will begin accepting LIHEAP applications on November 1, 2011.  Funding for LIHEAP and other energy assistance programs is at risk during deficit reduction negotiations. 

 

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