BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A new agency will be taking the responsibility for Jefferson County’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
The Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama will be managing the program through December. The organization already provides this service to multiple other counties in Alabama and they feel that it’s a perfect fit moving forward.
This decision comes after the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity had their state and federal grants pulled due to concerns over financial inconsistencies.
“So, we run the LIHEAP (Low Income Housing Emergency Assistance Program) for Northeast Alabama, which covers the seven counties northeast of here, so we are just now administering this for Jefferson County, which is new for us,” said Maggie Bell of the Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs allocated $1.3 million to the program. This funding will only be used for families in Jefferson county and will be available through Dec. 31.
“So, anyone that is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guideline is eligible to apply for the grant. The documents we will need are a driver’s license, social security card for anyone in the household, a copy of your current utility bill, proof of income from the previous month, and also a copy of your lease,” Bell said.
To help quickly distribute the funding, the Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama contacted former employees of the JCCEO that were laid off last month to help with the application process.
“Although us being laid off was unfortunate, I’m glad that the Community Action of Northeast Alabama decided to hire us so that we can further assist those in the Jefferson County community,” former JCCEO employee Tyesha Yarbrough said.
Yarbrough worked for the JCCEO for six years. Now, under tentative employment with the Community Action Agency, she’s able to work alongside her former colleagues to help those in need.
“All 11 of us are definitely family. We have people ranging from five years all the way to 37 years that have experience with the agency and LIHEAP. So we basically wanted to ease the burden with families to make sure that they don’t have to go without this holiday season,” she said.
The Community Action Agency will be taking applications through Dec. 31 at Serving You Ministries, 6523 1st Avenue N, Birmingham, AL 35206.