Utility bill assistance is one of the many core resources Sister Carmen Community Center (SCCC) provides to the community, including assistance with water, heat, and electricity bills. SCCC receives this funding through Energy Outreach Colorado, who unfortunately experienced a funding cut of their own this year and are unable to provide their usual level of support.
Through this unfortunate situation, Sister Carmen received a 40% decrease in funding for participant utilities from over $80,000 to only $50,000 per year. With the fall weather already bringing cooler days, many of your neighbors may not be able to heat their homes this winter.
During the COVID-19 crisis, utility companies like Xcel Energy paused billing, late fees, and disconnect notices, but have resumed normal services again. Some participants who paused payments during the earlier waves of COVID-19 are now faced with large utility bills—some over $2,000—which can take a significant toll on families already struggling to get by.
There is some relief—Xcel can help with flexible payment plans, and SCCC also connects participants to resources like the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). LEAP is a statewide program that provides assistance for heating costs during the winter months (November – April). For many, however, this simply isn’t enough; utility expenses have increased with so many people spending more time at home during the pandemic. Some families may not qualify, and the full cost of the utility bill isn’t covered by the program.
Sister Carmen is here to help, and in order to serve our community, we need you. Reductions in funding mean we rely on our individual donors now more than ever. You can make a difference today by donating securely online at ColoradoGives.org/sistercarmen.