How To Get Heating Assistance Help

(WLNS) – As temperatures drop, not having heat in your home is deadly.

A 69-year-old man died of hypothermia in Detroit and other causes after Consumers Energy shut off natural gas.

“We sent three notices. We never heard back from the person who held the account. We left a physical tag on the door saying that service would be shut off and ultimately service was shut off to that house,” said Brian Wheeler, Consumers Energy.

Something that could happen to anyone who can’t pay their heating bills. Making those payments is a struggle in mid Michigan too, forcing hundreds to call 2-1-1 for help.

Joan Jackson Johnson with the city of Lansing says making that emergency call could make the difference between staying in your home and not having one at all.

“If the city of Lansing finds that you have any of those utilities off, they will red tag your house and you will have to leave,” said Joan Jackson Johnson, city of Lansing, Human Relations director.

“It is overwhelming.”

With bills adding up, the Salvation Army has been flooded with calls for help.

“We’re seeing an increase in calls across the board. We always are busy with our calls, but we’re seeing even more calls this time of year,” said Hannah Gottschalk, director, Social Services, Capital Area Salvation Army.

But for those that do not qualify for help, Consumers advises customers to pick up the phone.

“We want folks to call us and tell if there’s an issue, we can make arrangements to pay a bill over a longer period of time.”

With bitter temperatures in the forecast, non-profits are asking for help to make sure everyone can stay warm.

If you’re in need of emergency help to keep your home warm or want to help you can call 2-1-1, the city of Lansing’s Human Relations and Community Services or the Salvation Army.

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