A program that can help families and individuals in Missouri pay their utility and heating bills is HeatShare. It is funded by private donations from the community, and administered by the Salvation Army. Assistance is provide to people across the state, no matter where they live.
HeatShare currently focuses its financial assistance on three different groups. They include a household who is going through a crisis or who has experienced an unexpected financial emergency, such as a job loss or medical emergency, and that has reduced their monthly income. The program is also targeted at low income senior citizens. Last, but not least, HeatShare may be able to assist disabled peoples whose physical capabilities limit their ability to earn money to maintain income to adequately cover energy bills.
The donations that are raised for the HeatShare program may be able to provide payments and cash grants that Missouri residents can use towards paying natural gas, electricity, propane, utility, fuel oil or wood bills. Money can be used to not only pay utility bills, but financial grants may also be available for paying for emergency repairs to air conditioners, furnaces, hot water heaters and tanks, and any other energy related equipment or for repairs to broken windows, roofs and doors.
The program is comprehensive. Not only can people get direct financial aid and grants, but HeatShare also works by providing counseling, advice, information on government programs and referrals to other utility funding sources in Missouri and local charities. Of course this is in addition to the direct financial assistance that is provided when a household shows they are unable to make their monthly utility and energy bills. In addition, while funding is always limited, financial assistance and cash grants may also be provided up to one time per heating and one time per cooling season for other expenses. While money can be used for repair or replacement of equipment and energy conserving programs, air conditioning assistance will be made available only to those with a physicians confirmation without air conditioning a life in the home would be threatened.
As indicated above, while the Missouri Salvation Army is the leading agency for HeatShare, they work closely with WestPlains Energy, People's Natural Gas, now UtiliCorp United/Energy One, and Butler Rural Electric.
Call -800-336-4547 to learn more about the HeatShare program.