City of Memphis offers new program for utility assistance - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

City of Memphis offers new program for utility assistance

If you're struggling to pay your utility bills, the City of Memphis has a new program to help you out.

You could get $500 in the Summer and then again in the Winter if you qualify for Memphis' new program to help people who cannot pay their MLGW bills.
"All of you are aware of the poverty in Memphis and Shelby County, in certain peak periods there is a higher utilization of utilities disproportionate impact on elderly and poor," Mayor Willie Herenton said.

The program is made to help people who do not qualify for existing programs.     

To qualify, you must meet certain income requirements.

You have to have received a notice of service interruption notice from MLGW and provide documentation to prove things such as your income and proof of residency.

An example of who qualifies for the program:

  • You must make between 151 and 175 percent of the federal poverty level
  • For example, a family of two could make between $21,000- $24,5000
  • A family of four could make between 32,000- $37,100.
  • $2.5 million is allotted for the program.
  • That will help about 5,000 households.

One of the programs organizers said she knows even that is not enough.
"People are having to make choices between are we going to eat are we going to have utilities.  We get phone calls that sometimes make me cry, and when we don't know what else to do, we just pay people's utility bills.  So does Mr. Collins, he doesn't want me to say that, but we pay them," Sara Lewis of the Office of Youth Services and Community Affairs said.

To qualify for the program, call 901-575-7200.

Click here to e-mail Lori Brown.

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