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Northern Kentucky Community Action awarded $2.5 million

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Funding will help local families in need stay warm this winter

By Molly Haines

Just as Owen countians are expected to see a dramatic decrease in temperature, the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission (NKCAC) announced Monday that it would begin distributing funds from a $2.5 million federal grant that will assist eligible households with their winter energy costs.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Crisis Program, known as LIHEAP, is the main federal program that helps low-income households and seniors with their energy bills, providing vital assistance during both the cold winter and hot summer months, according to a press release.
“This funding is welcome news,” NKCAC Executive Director Catrena Bowman Thomas said.
“At NKCAC we empower people to move from crisis situations to thriving lives. To do that we have to help them get a hand on their immediate needs. LIHEAP is an important lifeline, ensuring that low-income families and seniors do not have to make the impossible choice between paying for heat and paying for food and medicine.”
NKCAC encourages individuals and families to be successful, where they need immediate relief or long-term strategy.
Local households interested in applying for the program should contact the Owen County NKCAC Neighborhood Center, located at 109 S. Madison St., Owenton. The number to call is 484-2116.
Eligibility for the LIHEAP Crisis benefit is determined by income, household size, fuel type and the following criteria:
> The household must be at or below 130 percent of federal poverty guidelines and responsible for their home heating costs.
> The household is within four days of running out of fuel if bulk fuel (coal, fuel, oil, propane, kerosene or wood) is the heat source.
> The household has received a past due notice or disconnect notice if natural gas or electric is the heat source.
> The household’s home heating costs are included as an undesignated portion of the rent, and the household has received an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent from the landlord.
To find out if you are eligible, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment with an NKCAC staff member online at nkcac.cascheduler.com or at 859-439-4004.
LIHEAP households are among the most vulnerable in the country, according to the press release. The National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association said more than 90 percent of LIHEAP recipients have at least one household member who is a child, elderly or disabled and 20 percent of households include at least one veteran.