This summer, after 17 years working a steady job at Honda, an Ohio resident suffered a heart attack while on the job. He had to be taken by life flight to Riverside Hospital in Columbus where he had a double by-pass surgery. He was hospitalized for almost a month. Although he and his wife had never received assistance before, this situation caused them to fall behind on their bills.
The man and his wife received a disconnect notice from their utility company. This was an even more dire situation than normal as after his heart attack the Honda employee needed to be on a breathing machine. While the machine can run on batteries, they do not last long so it needs to run on electricity.
Having learned of the summer crisis Home Energy Assistance Program, the couple secured a note from the husband’s doctor regarding his health condition and with the assistance of the Tri-County Community Action Agency of Champaign/Logan/Shelby Counties they were able to get their utility bills paid through the HEAP program. Tri-County also helped the couple receive services through Safelink, which provides cell phone service, giving the husband and wife a sense of security and way to keep in touch in case of emergencies.
Without these programs and the help of Tri-County Community Action Agency, the wife explains, “We would have had our electric turned off and my husband would not have been able to breath.” She continued, “I am grateful that these programs are available for emergency situations. We have never asked for help before and it was great to have the service there for us.”
To learn more about Community Action Agency programs in your area, visit www.oacaa.org