Project Help heating assistance available for elderly, disabled

Heating assistance is available for the elderly and disabled through Project Help, a heating assistance program made possible by the partnership of Fayetteville Public Utilities and the Good Samaritan Association of Lincoln County and by those who generously support Project Help financially.

Project Help was forged in 1989 by FPU and Good Samaritan as a way to provide extra financial assistance to those receiving fixed incomes and who have difficulty in paying for winter heating costs.

Through the heating assistance program, local residents may qualify if they are over the age of 60 or permanently disabled with a household income under 125% of the poverty level based on the size of the household.

Each household that qualifies is allowed a maximum of $180 toward heating costs per heating season (now through the end of March). Funds are paid directly to the heating fuel and energy suppliers, therefore, a copy of the heating bill must be presented to the Good Samaritan for verification of the amount due. If the amount of the heating bill is less than $180, qualifying residents may apply for Project Help heating assistance a second month to reach the maximum amount of $180 per heating season.

Project Help funds are used to assist with heating costs which include, but are not limited to, electricity, natural gas, propane, kerosene and wood.

To apply for Project Help, you must visit the Good Samaritan Association office located at 208 West Davidson Street, present your photo ID, a current utility/heating bill to verify residency and proof of your total household income, including your yearly Social Security statement. You must also complete the Project Help application for heating assistance.

Project Help is funded by FPU customers who sign up to donate $1 or more each month on their electric bill to help the elderly and disabled with their heating bills. FPU also receives one-time donations from customers and community organizations. Of the Project Help funds donated, 100% is given to the Good Samaritan Association to pay for heating costs of those in need.

If you have questions about qualifying for Project Help assistance, please call the Good Samaritan Association at 433-0260. If you’d like to donate to the heating assistance program, please visit FPU’s office at 408 West College Street and fill out the Project Help donation form.