Some people in southern Indiana need a little help keeping their home warm and today was the first opportunity many of them had to apply for this winter's energy assistance program. The phones were ringing constantly at the Community Action Program of Evansville office and people were lined up at the door this morning to make an appointment to apply for energy assistance.
"I'm a grandmother raising four grandboys and I've had to quit working," said Deanna Alvy of Evansville. "This has really helped me a lot because I don't get income on myself, I just get it on my grandchildren and it's kind of tough." Today when she called to set up an appointment to apply for the program she was unable to get through. "It was busy, busy. Ever since 8 o'clock this morning I've been trying to call."
"The first day is always busy," said Alice Weathers of CAPE. "The phones have just been jammed and people have to be patient."
In the past Deanna went straight to the office to apply for the program, but she says it didn't work out too well. "One time I was down here and it was snowing and it was super cold and I had my children and we had to wait outdoors. Weather got to us and then we end up sick." But this year the process ran much more smoothly. "It don't take as long to walk in the door. You're not outside two to three hours waiting in the weather."
Some people were worried if they couldn't get an appointment over the phone the program would run out of funds, but CAPE says that's not the case. "I'd been very, very surprised if we run out of money, so that's not a concern," said Weathers.