Area Agencies Help with Winter Bills for those in Need

NORTHWEST, Ark. -- (KFTA) - Winter bills are already hitting hard for many in the Northwest Arkansas area.

With the financial burden of the holidays adding up and winter heating bills increasing, area agencies say they  are prepared to help those in need get their winter heating bills paid for. 

Casey Beaver is the Operations Director for the Economic Opportunity Agency in Washington County. Beaver said, "We're already helping the elderly and disabled that are on food stamps so we're really busy processing all of those applications at this time."

The Washington County Economic Opportunity Agency says it's already processed more than $50,000 dollars in state assistance for locals needing help with their utility bills in the last week. "We do what we can to help any of the low income families in the community. We don't want anybody without power or cold during the winter months," said Beaver.

The EOC is one of many agencies reaching out to help those in need this winter season. The EOC will open their general applications for assistance to the public on January 16th. 

Cooperative Emergency Outreach, a group of more than twenty area churches, also lends a helping hand. 

Joe Dushan is the President of the Cooperative Emergency Outreach. Dushan said, "People are facing hard times throughout the year, but in the winter, utility bills are typically higher. "

The CEO of Washington County said it's important to let the community know they don't have to struggle in silence. 
Dushan said, "We help with a portion of their utility bill every six months."

To help you better plan finances and be ready for those higher heating bills, Credit Counseling of Arkansas  can get you on the right track. 

Mark Foster is the Director of Education for Credit Counseling of Arkansas. He said, "Take a look at your spending, now would be a great time to track your expenses for a month to see exactly where your money is going  "

Once you have a budget in place the CCOA can help direct you to other agencies that will help keep you and your loved ones warm and safe  in these frigid temperatures.

"Our counselors know about the many area resources and will try to connect folks with those other agencies that might be able to help them," said Foster. 

For a full list of agencies that can help you and your family head to http://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/washington_county_assistance_p9.html
 


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