NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — This is the first day people can start signing up for Operation Fuel a statewide program. But at the TVCCA they have been taking applications for local fuel assistance since August first and today they reached six thousand.
“We’re up to 1500 deliveries,” says Zack St. John with the TVCCA, Thames Valley Council for Community Action, in Norwich.
Some folks have already started filling up their oil tanks for the winter. The TVCCA says once their assistance is used up Operation Fuel kicks in. But it can only be used once per calendar year.
“Late January, February it’s nice to have that safety net program,” says St. John.
Operation Fuel can also help those now who earn too much money for the TVCCA program. A family of two making $44,000 or a family of five earning $75,000 may get help from TVCCA but it also factors in assets. Operation Fuel doesn’t.
“So in those cases where somebody may be over income because of their assets we would then do an application for Operation Fuel,” says St. John.
“These programs are very important when everybody’s getting part time positions now,” says Sandra Violette of Voluntown.
She lost money and benefits when she lost her full-time job. But she says others are worse off.
“I have neighbors that have no electricity at all and they’ve been doing it for three or four years and I would be considering it if I didn’t have a ten year old boy,” she says.
Staff at TVCCA want to reach people like Violette’s neighbors who shut off utilities to save money because there could be programs to help them as well.