HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–Connecticut has the highest energy costs in the country, with an average of $380 a month going towards electric, heating fuel and gas. For many people that live here, that simply means too much coming out of their pockets when not much is going in.
“I’m not working right now. I was working but I got laid off my job,” said Anthony Williams of New Haven.
“I do not have an income. I have an appeal going for my disability and we need help with out bills,” said Ilma Rodgrigues of West Haven.
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Williams and Rodriguez are among the first people to apply for winter assistance this year through Operation Fuel. The program helps people struggling to pay their utility bills by giving them up to $500.00/.
Jewish Family Services of Greater New Haven is one of the organizations that takes in applications. Program Director Rachel Scolnic Dobin says their waiting room was full of people first thing this morning.
“I’ve had people have their lights turned off and the donation we’re making gets them back on. So, that could mean your kid being able to do their homework in the light again, being able to make family dinners. If we’re talking abut gas I have people who their kids were taking cold showers and how have hot showers again,” said Scolnic Dobin.
Operation Fuel officials say asking for assistance can be difficult. People we talked to today said a little help now makes for a better tomorrow.
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“They help you get on your feel. They pay a good amount of money to at least get out of the bind that you’re in,” said Williams.
Last year Operation Fuel helped about 8000 families in Connecticut.
For more information on Operation Fuel, or to make a donation, head to www.operationfuel.org.