With budgets stretched to their breaking points, families are having to choose between putting food on their table, purchasing medicine or heating their homes. In many cases, the choice is to cut back on home heating and use electric heaters instead. Many elderly resort to going to bed at sundown and curling up with an electric blanket to keep warm, according to reports relayed to CAI.
“We’re getting the calls every day,” Cuneo said.
Community Action participates in an oil bid program that allows clients who are eligible for heating assistance to purchase home heating oil at a discounted price. Cuneo said the lower price also applies to heating oil purchased for eligible clients by friends or family members. He said the price is currently about 20 to 30 cents per gallon less than the street price.
In addition, CAI has established an agency Emergency No Heat Fund to help area residents who are facing a no heat crisis. Cuneo said contributions can be donated on the CAI website at CommunityActionInc.org or contributors can send a check to the CAI Emergency No Heat Fund, c/o CAI, 145 Essex St., Haverhill, MA 01832.