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Monday was Memorial Day. More than 100,000 people in the five major U.S. territories are military veterans, but can't vote for commander-in-chief. Plus, Puerto Rico has a statehood referendum this November.

Energy Assistance in KY May Keep the Heat On As Temps Plunge

January 11, 2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Frigid temperatures have many Kentuckians concerned they may not be able to pay their home heating bills this winter. However, a program announced last week in Louisville is coming to the aid of families facing home-heating emergencies. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP for short, makes funding available to these families, according to Mary Elizabeth Miles, executive director of the Louisville Community Action Partnership.

"The LIHEAP program is a federal program that was designed to serve low-income clients and to help them during the coldest months of the year with their energy bills."

Last year, Kentucky spent over $60 million oi LIHEAP funding and served nearly 300,000 families.

This year's funding for eligible families began last week and continues until the end of March. Miles adds that families who can't pay their heating bills during the harshest part of winter need to sign up now.

"I think that what it does is gives us the opportunity to engage a large amount of clients in need in a very small amount of time."

According to Miles, another benefit for families who might sign up for LIHEAP is that it introduces them to the other services offered by Community Action Kentucky, of which her organization is a part.

"Our mission is to help people gain self-efficiency, so if we can engage folks when they come in we might be able to offer them some of our other programs in employment, job training, financial literacy, education, and so on."

State officials say that eligible households that can benefit the most - seniors, the disabled and families with young children - are encouraged to take advantage of LIHEAP assistance.

Bill Goodman, Public News Service - KY