Officials: There is no more money to fund LIHEAP

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On Tuesday WYMT learned folks needing help paying heating bills might run into some problems.

Officials with KCEOC Community Action Partnership in Knox County said they ran out of funds for the LIHEAP heating assistance program on Monday.

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The LIHEAP crisis period began January 8th of 2018 and less than a month later the funding is running out.

"Well, I've been telling them to call back in case we do get more funding. We don't know that yet but we do let them know that it is running out at the end of this week more likely but just to call back later to see if possibly we can get more funding later and if we do it'll be first come first serve," said Christine Warfield a CSBG County Coordinator for LKLP.

Each county is given a set allotment for the subsidy period. After that period is over they return the money not used and then that amount is divided into counties to use from January 8th until March 31st or until the money runs out.

This year the money is in jeopardy of not lasting an entire month during the crisis period.

"Well for me and my family it is about the only way we have of heating our home, you know there aren't any jobs and if it wasn't for them we would be in the dark or out in the cold," said Donna Stidham a LIHEAP recipient.

The funding is critical for low-income families in order to heat their homes.

"Oh, it’s a whole lot better. Because if I didn't have that I wouldn't be able to heat my house hardly," said Mary Watts who also receives LIHEAP funding.

Both Watts and Stidham were able to receive crisis funding this year but had they not, they both said they would have been in a tough position.

"Oh lord I wouldn't know what to do...if they would have run out before I got it, I don't know," said Stidham.

"I’d be disappointed but there isn't anything I can do about it," said Watts.

Officials with LKLP say of the four counties they serve they fear if things stay consistent they will run out of funding by Friday, February 2nd.

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