As of April 1, a staff member from the Lee County Department of Human Services has been present at the Beacon of H.O.P.E. every Monday for those seeking assistance from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
The Lee County Department of Human Services began an outreach program four years ago, so staff members could go out into different communities to sit down with those seeking assistance.
There are three separate funding programs that individuals can apply for within the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Maldonado said the regular energy assistance program will provide credit towards an account if help is needed with the electric bill, as long as the individual falls within a certain income and household size.
Another program is cooling, which provides assistance with the electricity if it is disconnected or if a household needs an electric deposit to turn their electricity on.
Janeth Maldonado, eligibility coordinator for the Lee County Department of Human Services, said the program starts April 1 and runs through Sept. 30 every year to provide assistance to individuals that fall within a specific income and household size for the cooling season.
If You Go
What: Low Income Home Energy
Where: Beacon of H.O.P.E., 5465
Pine Island Road
When: April 22 and every Monday
Appointments: Call 239-283-
5123, no walk-in's allowed
There is also a heating phase that begins on Oct. 1 and ends on March 31 that follows the same guidelines - provide funds to reconnect or to stop disconnection from occurring.
The specific income and household size regulations are as follows:
The 2013 income maximums for a household of one is a monthly gross income of $1,436.25 and an annual gross income of $17,235; household of two has a monthly gross income of $1,938.75 and an annual gross income of $23,265; household of three has a monthly gross income of $2,441.25 and an annual gross income of $29,295; household of four has a monthly gross income of $2,943.75 and a annual gross income of $35,325; a household of five has a monthly gross income of $3,446.25 and an annual gross income of $41,355; and a household of six has a monthly gross income of $3,948.75 and an annual gross income of $47,385.
A member of the Lee County Department of Human Services will be at the Beacon of H.O.P.E. every Monday to talk to individuals about the program by appointment only.
Individuals need to bring an original electric bill; picture ID for head of household and/or person completing application; Social Security cards for all household members; entire household income information for the last four weeks and an award letter or food stamp card or utility check if individual is on Section 8 or Food Stamps.
She said they have 25 appointments available every Monday for individuals. Maldonado said the appointment takes about an hour and a half.
Those who wish to make an appointment can call 239-283-5123.
"Whoever they schedule, we are going to see," she said.