Applicants sought for winter heating bill help

Although we haven’t had any stretches of really cold weather yet, Human Services Inc. is ready to help with your winter heating bills, if needed.

Kelley Goins, director of housing stabilization with Human Services Inc. says money is available for those in need.

“The Energy Assistance Program began Nov. 1st. and we assist income-qualified individuals and families, with a one-time benefit paid toward their heating source, which includes electric, gas, propane or wood,” Goins said.

The agency has a group of returning applicants every year, but is looking to expand to more in need with the energy assistance program.

“We are really trying to expand to people who may not know about our program or who may just not have thought about it, because the weather has been exceptional,” Goins said.

You will need to gather some paperwork before applying Goins said. That will include IDs for all adults in the house, Social Security numbers for all residents and income information. Households can qualify that make up to 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

The program is paid from federal and state grants. Last year the agency assisted more than 4,000 people in the five counties Human Services covers – Bartholomew, Decatur, Jackson, Johnson and Shelby. However, there have been as many as 7,000 households helped in some years.

Applications are accepted through the entire winter heating period, through March.You can pick up an application at the offices in each county. The Bartholomew County office is on County Road 600N at the former Cross Cliff school.

You can also call the local office in your county to have an application mailed. The Bartholomew County office is 812-372-8407. Or you can go online to