Families in St. Louis who are at risk of having their gas or electricity disconnected can apply for financial help from the special utility assistance program or other local resources. Applications are processed by the St. Louis Department of Human Services. The resource focuses on helping people pay their cooling bills during extreme hot summer weather and also paying winter heating bills during the wintertime.
There are deadlines in place for when residents of the city can apply, and funding is limited. The application period will usually open up in June or July, and end a short while later. Additional funding may be offered in the November time frame for paying winter gas and heating expenses.
The fact is that utility bills can be so big during the summer and winter months of extreme temperatures that some struggling individuals won’t be able to pay them. Do not wait before applying to the St. Louis special utility assistance fund. If you put off seeking help, and wait until your energy bill comes due say the following month, it may very well be too late. Take steps now to lessen the blow of those big utility bills when it comes in July or January. The staff at the Social Service department urge qualified individuals to submit applications to prevent utility disconnections.
The Department of Human Services will help resident’s access money for energy bill assistance, however you do need to apply and meet various conditions. Some of the conditions put into place by the City of St. Louis include:
The St. Louis Department of Human Services wants to ensure people stay safe and cool during the hot summer months, in particular people who are 60 and older and/or disabled. The funds also play a part in reducing homelessness, as if someone loses power they in effect lose their home or apartment as it is then unlivable.
Hundreds of households across the region receive help. This can be in the form of cash for bills, fans to stay cool, or heating units. Some households may be given a free air conditioner as well. Dial (314) 612-5900.
Another option is to try the local community action agency known as Keep It Current. This organization supports people in the city and throughout the county. The non-profit may be able to also offer limited electric and cooling bill assistance during the summer for city residents 60 years old and over. Also get information on locations that may distribute fans or gently used air conditioners to senior citizens in the area. Applications are only in early July for summer assistance. Residents can learn more or apply at the following locations.
Another organization to call is the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. They may also offer financial assistance for low-income households. Any financial aid provided will be based upon the applicant’s income, availability of resources and family size. Either call 314-615-3640, or stop by 33701 Grandle Square, St. Louis, MO 63108.
If you have explored the cooling and heating assistance programs offered by these St. Louis organizations and don’t qualify, then try calling Ameren and use their budget billing program. This will help level set a customer’s monthly utility bills and will ensure your expenses do not escalate during a hot stretch during the summer or cold weather during the winter.
Last, but not least, try calling Cool Down St. Louis at 314-241-7668. This non-profit also focuses on the vulnerable in the city. Click here. They may have fans, air conditioners, or funds to help with cooling costs.
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