MIAMI VALLEY — Miami Valley Community Action Partnership’s (MVCAP) Winter Crisis Program (WCP), which helps low-income Ohioans who are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected or have less than 25 percent supply of bulk fuel in their tank to maintain their utility service, will officially end on March 31.
“We will continue to accommodate customers through the end of the month,” Keelie Gustin, Interim Director of Energy Assistance Programs said.
Ohioans with a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines ($43,050 for a family of four) are eligible for the program, which has helped more than 130,000 Ohioans statewide in 2016. This encompasses the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus), which assist households in retaining service and managing their utility bills.
However, it is uncertain whether the program, vital to many in the Miami Valley each year, will continue. President Trump’s recent proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019 “zeroes” out the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding these programs. So far nearly $566,000 has been spent — serving more than area 2,300 homes—since November 1, 2017.
“We ask residents to make contact with their legislators about the importance of this program. This budget calls for the complete elimination of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which would include the Summer and Winter Crisis programs,” said Cherish Cronmiller, CEO of MVCAP.
MVCAP is a 501(c)3 private, nonprofit Community Action Agency, committed to eliminating the causes and conditions of poverty and promoting self-sufficiency through programs and services in the Miami Valley. For more information, or to schedule an interview, contact Jim Ingram at 937-341-5000 (ext. 150) or at James.Ingram@capdayton.org.