The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 7, 2012

DSS offering assistance for needy with heating bills

Staff Writer

TARBORO — Under a program currently in place, low-income, disabled and elderly Edgecombe County residents can apply for help with their heating bills.

“It’s a federally-funded program that provides a one-time payment to the vendor. The payment is based on the number of persons in the household and the heating source,” said Bobbie Williams, income maintenance administrator for the Edgecombe County Department of Social Services. The vouchers are for $200, $300 or $400.

“If they heat with coal or wood, it would be $200 regardless,” Williams said.

Applications will be taken until Jan. 31, 2013 for disabled persons receiving a service through the  Division of Aging and Adult Services or for households with a member age 60 or older, or until funds are exhausted. Applications on all other households will be taken from Feb. 1 through March 29, or until funds are exhausted.

The funding available for the program this year is $147,278, which is $49,892 less than last year. Williams said she sees the need for the program in the county every year.

“Winters have been pretty bad and people have high heating costs,” she said. “Some people [now] might be still trying to catch up from the summer months.”

Families may apply at the human services building at 122 E. Saint James St. in Tarboro or at Social Services Building at 301 S. Fairview Road in Rocky Mount. Other outpost sites for seniors are the E.L. Roberson Senior Center in Tarboro, the Dunbar Senior Center in Battleboro, the Pinetops Town Hall, the Princeville Senior Center, the Princeville Town Hall, Conetoe Baptist Church, Jerusalem Baptist Church in Whitakers, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Rocky Mount and the Opportunities Industrialization Center on East Virginia Street in Rocky Mount.

“We want to reach as many as possible during this timeframe,” Williams said. Before visiting an outpost site, call 985-5056 or 641-7637.