The Community Outreach receives almost 8000 requests for support every year from families in Minnehaha, Lincoln, Turner, and McCook Counties. With programs to prevent homelessness, bus passes for new employment, and car repairs, every winter utilities become the greatest need.
As the winter months begin to dip colder in Sioux Falls, more and more homes are needing to turn up the heat to stay warm. But for many families, keeping up with the increased costs for gas, water, and electric bills leave them struggling in other areas.
While Fall and Winter 2017 have been warm, more and more people have been looking for assistance with utilities that have received a shutoff notice. Over the last several years, an average of 50 families receives utility assistance from The Community Outreach. Through mid-November 2017, over 90 families have already received assistance with utilities.
While the changes in temperature are the biggest cause for the increased expense, there has also been an increase in smaller balances leading to shut-off notices. With shut-off notices happening more quickly, more families are finding themselves closer to this crisis situation. This has also caused those with large balances to be shut off sooner as well, even if they are utilizing a payment plan.
In total, The Community Outreach has already issued more than 25% more help for utilities than budgeted for 2017, with the increase anticipated to continue in 2018. Your gift of $200 would help a family bring their utilities up to date and help prevent a shut-off. You would be able to directly help a working poor family in need and keep them safe and warm in their home for the holidays.