CAPNA hosting area meetings to help seniors with utility bills

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Sharon Schuler Kreps
There are a lot of people who just can’t pay their bills these days.”
Dorothy Butler, Hanceville senior

 

HANCEVILLE – Community Action Partnership of North Alabama is hosting several area meetings to help local senior citizens with their utility bill this summer. On Monday, citizens aged 60 and up gathered at the Hanceville Senior Center to sign up. Applicants needed to show their monthly income documentation, Social Security card, current Alabama photo ID, energy bill (utility and gas) and utility allowance/current lease for subsidized housing. The Hanceville Senior Center was filled with people who really needed the extra help.

“Today we are assisting the seniors of Cullman County,” said Robin Fuller, family services manager with the CAPNA. “This outreach is to help people who are aged 60 and over with their power bills when they are determined to be low income or already fall into that category. We can assist them with their utility bills today without them actually having to go to our office; some of them do not have the means of transportation.

“This week begins what we call our ‘cooling season’ which runs from now until Sep. 30. We have started the season with our seniors in the way we prefer to do it, by coming to them today. Normally we aren’t able to do this because we are short-staffed. Fortunately, this year we are able to come to them. Our focus today is helping the seniors.”

The room was all abuzz with seniors waiting their turn to meet with the CAPNA staff. Although the process took a little time, they were happy with the opportunity to receive the help.

“This is to help the senior citizens,” said Dorothy Butler as she sat with a group of ladies waiting for her name to be called. “I hope all of them that are here today get help.  It’s to help with your light bill, gas and everything so I’m sure this is going to help through the summer and probably through the winter too. There are a lot of people who just can’t pay their bills these days.

“I went to this in Cullman in the past but was turned down because I made too much money, but I thought I would come up here and try it again this year; it never hurts to try because we need it,” she smiled.  

Monday’s event was the first of four outreach events with the senior citizens of Cullman County.

“We have three other sites scheduled here in Cullman County, but if they aren’t able to get to them, they can either call and make an appointment or go online and sign up. We will begin seeing those people beginning in July,” said Fuller. “The cooling season runs through Sep. 30, so if they can’t get to an outreach between now and then they can definitely come by our office. We are located at 107 Second Ave. NE, Cullman, AL 35055.

“To set up an appointment, go to our website at northalabamacommunities.org. At the bottom of the page there is a link where they can sign up for Utility Assistance. The other way to make an appointment is by calling our automated appointment line at 256-255-0454.”

The next utility assistance meetings will be as follows:

Tuesday, June 21 – Fairview Town Hall beginning at 9 a.m.

Thursday, June 23 – Baileyton Town Hall beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, June 28 – Cullman Senior Center beginning at 9 a.m.

Remember: Those who wish to participate should bring monthly income documentation, Social Security card, current Alabama photo ID, energy bill (utility and gas) and utility allowance/current lease for subsidized housing. For more information, call 256-734-5170.