“Sometimes it’s a choice between does my kid get shoes or do I pay the electric bill.”
Sandy has been unable to work due to medical issues and is currently living in subsidized housing with her 11-year-old son. Her income is limited to government assistance of about $1,000 per month and an additional $130 for food through SNAP (formerly Food Stamps). Her son’s father was in an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury and is not able to provide child support. Sandy often struggles to pay rent and all her bills on this small amount of income, especially during the winter months when her energy bill climbs.
“I just float along and pay a little here, and a little there, and hope it’s enough not to get a shut-off notice,” says Sandy. Sandy does try to conserve energy. She keeps lights off, uses cold water for laundry, and takes shorter showers. This isn’t enough during the winter months though, and inevitably, Sandy ends up with a shut-off notice. She turns to MSC for energy assistance, and this helps her get through. “I call and get an appointment once a year, and that helps me keep my power on.”
Sandy is just starting a new therapy program and hopes that her medical issues improve enough that she will be able to return to work one day. In the meantime, she is thankful for all the resources in the community, including MSC, that help her and her son stay warm and safe.
MSC’S energy assistance program helped 8,223 households