Heating assistance claims up 18 percent in Butler County - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Heating assistance claims up 18 percent in Butler County

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Shawnda Loman is one of many struggling to pay her bills.

"It's just my son, I'm a single parent and it is cold out and you're constantly worried about the utilities, because you have to have that, you have to have that stuff to keep warm," Loman said.
She applied for heating assistance to make ends meet.
"It definitely helped me out, I had no money I was on unemployment, so I actually had my water turned off," Loman said.
"Our numbers are up 18 percent compared to last year," said Athena Maly of S.E.L.F. or Supports to Encourage Low Income Families.
S.E.L.F. provides heating assistance  funded by the state of Ohio, and Heat Coordinator Athena Maly says as the temperatures continue to drop, the demand is skyrocketing.
"People starting to line up at the front door 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning, and I've never heard of stories of people getting here that early," Maly said.
They provide up to $250 depending on the service provider to prevent disconnection through the heating season which runs November through March.
"You see new people, we're seeing a lot of new people," Maly said.
Eligible families are allowed one assistance per heating season, and self organizers expect they'll have to seek more funds from the state of Ohio to meet the growing need.
"It makes a big difference, it helped us out a whole lot," Loman said.
To find out if your eligible for heating assistance you can call S.E.L.F at 513- 868-9300 or visit selfhelps.org.

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