The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 4, 2013

Program helps low-income families heat homes

— As temperatures drop and heating bills rise, lower-income citizens across the Laurel Highlands often face a financial struggle when trying to keep warm during the harshest winter days.

But they can receive some much-needed assistance from the state.

Each January, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program begins to offer regular crisis grants for individuals and families in danger of losing their heating. This year, LIHEAP started the statewide program on Wednesday.

“This provides an immediate infusion (of money) to get that oil, get that gas, whatever they need to make sure their home, their children and their families are safe in winter conditions,” said state Department of Public Welfare spokeswoman Donna Morgan.

Regular crisis grants are available for households where a fuel source such as coal, kerosene or wood will be exhausted within 15 days or a 60-day termination notice has been received from a utility service company. Certain individuals with broken heating equipment or leaking lines can also receive assistance.

Applicants must meet certain financial requirements, based upon the size of a household. For instance, a one-person household must have an income of $16,755 or less to be eligible. On the higher end, the cutoff for a household with 10 or more members is $70,215.

“Some people can’t survive unless they have this particular help,” Morgan said.

Grants typically range from $25 to $400.

“Obviously, for some people, it’s a real help,” said state Rep. Gary Haluska, D-Patton. “They help out the unemployed and underemployed, and it’s a good thing for them.”

The Department of Public Welfare prefers to send the money directly to utility companies. However, in cases where repair work is needed, the department will occasionally direct funds to individuals, who then pay for the needed service.

The regular crisis grants work in conjunction with the state’s basic heating assistance program that started on Nov. 1. Both programs will remain open until March 29.

“The crisis grants are the second phase of the department’s LIHEAP program, which has been offering cash grants since Nov. 1,” said Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander. “We open the crisis program in January as the temperatures in Pennsylvania really begin to plummet and heating one’s home becomes a lifesaving measure.”

During the 2011-2012 heating season, almost 108,000 Pennsylvania households received crisis grants: 2,685 in Cambria County, 1,685 in Bedford County, 1,740 in Somerset County.

Anybody interested in getting information about obtaining a crisis grant can contact offices in Cambria (533-2253), Bedford (624-4072) and Somerset (443-3683).

The application process can be expedited by filling out an online form at www.compass.state.pa.us.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • amd 31 New filtration system targets mine water

    Orange stones surround a black plastic discharge pipe at the Rock Tunnel abandoned mine drainage site.
    There is a rusty tint to some nearby water and mud, too.
    Soon, though, a new filtration system, consisting of shallow vegetative wetlands, a settling basin, concrete trough, buried limestone and aeration component, is expected to help return those elements back to their natural appearances.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richland to weigh speed study

    A group of Theatre Drive residents has convinced Richland Township’s supervisors to look into the costs of a special traffic study weighing whether their residential neighborhood’s current 35 mph speed limit should be reduced.

    July 30, 2014

  • Border battle lingers: Adams Twp. wants court to become involved

    Adams Township officials are asking the Cambria County court to once again become involved in its long-running boundary line dispute with Richland Township.

    July 30, 2014

  • FRANK BURNS 31 Officials urge creation of crime watch groups

    State Rep. Frank Burns told the crowd about the night his life changed forever.
    After leaving a AAABA game, the then-16-year-old Burns was surrounded by three males, “dancing” around him like boxers and taunting him.
    They attacked and he was on the ground. He took a powerful kick to the face.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Injured officer back on duty

    Two people were injured in a three-car accident Tuesday evening when a truck failed to yield to a Johnstown police officer who was rushing to assist another patrol car, police said.

    July 30, 2014

  • Grimm, Michael Child rapist to report to jail Monday; medical concern cited

    A Johnstown man set to pick a jury today on charges he sexually abused two boys, entered a guilty plea in Cambria County court Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIFT JOHNSTOWN ‘They got it done’: Lift Johnstown recognizes pair for trailhead work

    Rob McCombie and Steve Coy showed up Wednesday at a Path of the Flood Trail spur in East Conemaugh dressed like they were ready to get to work.
    Instead, a group of community advocates were waiting there to thank them for the hard work they’ve already put in.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local News in Brief | Philly man arrested for selling heroin

    July 30, 2014

  • Conemaugh Valley board tackles security, pupils’ instruction time

    The Conemaugh Valley school board on Wednesday agreed to improve security at the high school and increase instructional time and add art classes at the elementary school.

    July 30, 2014

  • Wine tasting, picnic will aid animals

    Briar Valley Winery and Bedford County Humane Society are hosting Yappy Hour 2014 at the vineyard grounds on Stein Road in Everett.

    July 30, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads