MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Digital devices are the lifeline for Shelby County School students.
The district will start the school year 100% virtual. However, one SCS parent is asking what good is a laptop with no power.
”If your utilities were shut off any other time children are still able to get their education now we’re talking about missing a day or two or three or a week of school,” said Liz Rincon who started a change.org petition to stop MLGW cutoffs for customers who have children at home.
”These children are our children,” said Rincon. “They deserve uninterrupted education and we have to find a solution in the next three weeks."
MLGW will resume disconnections Aug. 24, one week before students head back to school.
“We are willing to work with our customers. We don’t want to see them cut off,” said MLGW Spokesperson Gale Jones Carson.
Carson says she hopes customers will call their customer care hot line at (901) 544-6549, and set up a payment plan.
Carson says some customers can receive extensions for up to a year.
”Also during this 3-week period of time, we’re hoping that our customers will take advantage of the literally millions of dollars that are available in Memphis, Shelby County and Tennessee,” said Carson.
Carson points to the MIFA MLGW Plus One program or the Shelby County Community Service Agency. Both offer one-time utility assistance payments if you meet certain income criteria.
A spokesperson with the Community Service Agency (CSA) says they have seen a high volume of calls lately, but they are primarily repeated requests.
People who have applied since October 1, 2019, should not apply again.
MLGW customers should have received a postcard with a list of places that offer financial assistance.
Rincon says that’s something everyone should become familiar with amid this pandemic.
”None of us are safe, not a single one of us are safe from having financial hardships,” said Rincon.