Crisis intervention and heating program funds available

Press release from Buncombe County Health and Human Services:

BUNCOMBE COUNTY — The Crisis Intervention Program and Low Income Energy Assistance Program provides federal funds to low-income families in a heating or cooling crisis or to those who are in danger of experiencing a life-threatening or health-related emergency and sufficient, timely and appropriate assistance is not available from any other source. While the funds are distributed through Eblen Charities, partner agencies ABCCM and Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries stand ready to connect eligible individuals and families to this life-saving assistance.

These federal funds are passed through the state to the counties. A new state database system will enable citizens to access multiple resources such as food stamps and Medicaid with one application. The county and Eblen are working with ABCCM, SVCM and other providers across the county to provide access through coordination and communication that prioritizes life threatening situations and vulnerable populations like the frail elderly and those with chronic illnesses. During this transition, the county’s partnership with ABCCM, SVCM and Eblen will ensure that resources get to families and individuals to fill the gaps when there are life-threatening situations.

A life-threatening situation is defined as a household without a heating or cooling source or cases where a disconnect notice for their primary heating or cooling service has been issued and the health or well-being of a household member would be in danger if the heating or cooling service became unavailable. To qualify, applicants must reside in Buncombe County and have at least one U.S. citizen or noncitizen who meets eligibility criteria. The maximum allowed benefit amount can be up to $600 per application, per crisis situation and payments are sent directly to the vendor.

Applicants must be able provide:

  • A utility disconnect notice or be almost out of heating fuel or wood
  • Verification of income for all household members
  • Social Security numbers for all household members
  • Picture ID
  • If utility bill is not in applicant’s name, and person on the bill is not a household resident, client must provide a signed letter from account holder stating person applying is responsible for the bill

Applications will be accepted Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. at the Eblen Charities-Waddell Client Service Center located at 50 Westgate Parkway. If you are in need of heating assistance or have questions about the program, please contact Eblen Charities at 828-255-3066 or 828-250-5500. No matter where you are in Buncombe County, this network of dedicated community partners can provide needed support to your household over the cold winter months.

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