Salvation Army offers help on energy bills
Posted December 1, 2014
“Because my light bill sometimes is so high, I always have to ask for help to pay it,” said Fayetteville resident Alene Johnson, one of those in line.
The Salvation Army has about $2 million to provide energy assistance to seniors and those with special needs. Recipients don’t get a check to pay their bills. Instead, the money goes directly to the utility.
When the organization opened the application process in February, the crowd wrapped around the building before the money ran out. The crowd was smaller Monday, partly because Salvation Army staffers conducted outreach at senior living facilities, but the desperate need for help was the same.
“I go to school full time at Fayetteville Tech, so I don’t really have enough money to pay the deposit because I just moved into a new home,” Kimberly Diaz said. “The deposit is like $350, and the heat deposit is like $150.”
The Salvation Army has beefed up its staff since the last application process, but things still slowed at times. Applicants need to bring proper identification.
“We just want folks to realize that, to be patient with us and to make sure that they have everything that they need when they get here so that they can be seen as quickly as possible,” said Jason Smith, director of the Salvation Army branch that serves Cumberland, Scotland, Moore, Robeson and Hoke counties.
The program runs until March 31 or until the money runs out.
“This is just a blessing for me and a blessing that I’m just thankful for it,” Johnson said.