Posted by: charityinfo | February 13, 2012

Keeping People Warm And Safe

We sometimes take for granted the many amenities we have in our household. For those living in areas that experience cold weather there is one basic necessity that cannot be overlooked. This is the ability to heat one’s home.  For those who can afford to pay, it’s a given in their lives to have heat. For others it could mean a life and death struggle.

Heating one’s home is an expense. Those with meager incomes have to prioritize their expenses in a way that others may find alarming. It could be a choice between putting food on the table or having the money to pay the heating bill. Of course food will have to come first, then one must find a way to get through the cold. The sad fact is cold temperature can kill so it’s an equally pressing issue.

The Federal government has in place the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)  to help the qualified needy and elderly cope with their heating bill. In 1988 the funding was reduced by 33%. This reduction did not mean that the needs would change. There had to be a way to fill this gap. The state leadership under then Gov. Roy Romer setup a commission to come up with a solution to address the funding problem.

Out of this commission came the creation of the Colorado Energy Assistance Foundation- now called Energy Outreach Colorado. Energy providers, corporations, and individuals have been supporting this charity organization. It is non-profit and independent.  Aside from bill payment help, it also has energy efficiency programs and does advocacy work.

Since its inception in 1989 it has provided over $153 million to support energy bill payments and raising energy efficiency for affordable housing in Colorado State. It is one of the largest of its kind in the country and a highly regarded charitable institution.

Its establishment, continued existence and success demonstrate how concerned stakeholders have been able to rally themselves in order to help others.

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