PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2019 

2020Talks - November 14, 2019 

It's World Diabetes Day, and health care, including the high cost of insulin and other drugs, is a top issue for many voters. Plus, do early states like Iowa and New Hampshire have an outsized role in the nomination process?

Daily Newscasts

Utility Bills and Domestic Violence-Root Causes of Homelessness in CO?

March 8, 2007

New statistics about Colorado's high rate of homelessness show families with children face their predicament for two primary reasons: domestic violence and the cost of utilities. The yearly Statewide Homeless Count reports 58 percent of homeless families cite violence and abuse in the home as the number-one reason, while 56 percent blame their inability to pay high utility bills, particularly during the winter.

Skip Arnold, with Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC), says many families often are forced to juggle several critical needs.

"Out of necessity, these families begin to treat food and medicine as something that's optional just so they can pay their utility bills. They know that, without electric service or gas service, they can't live in their home."

EOC and the state's Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) help families offset energy costs for a month or two, but can't provide long-term assistance.

"With the rising cost of energy, utilities have become unaffordable for an increasing number of households."

For homeless people without children, the study found an overwhelming majority cited mental illness or substance abuse for their situation. Energy Outreach Colorado works with donations from utilities and customers to help low-income Coloradans pay their utility bills.

The report is available online at

Dondrea Warner/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - CO