Thousands dial in to county call center - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Thousands dial in to county call center

From the moment the Shelby County's call center opened, thousands of residents dialed in to see if they qualify for MLGW utility assistance.
"Everybody's bills are getting tighter their utility bills are going up their income is not going up," Dottie Jones of community services said.

At one call center, residents who are facing shut off notices can find out if they are eligible for assistance and make an appointment to come in and fill out an application.

Jones said there are strict guidelines as to who's eligible.

"If you are 60 years old or older, or if you have children in your home who are 6 years or younger or if you had some uncontrollable circumstance in the last 90 days that has kept you from paying your utility bill," Jones said.

Organizers began using call centers three-years ago.

Before that, applicants had to stand outside in long lines.

Being able to call in has helped staffers process more applicants quicker.

Officials said they will continue to help people until the government funding set aside for the program runs out.

Click here to e-mail Ben Watson.

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