Summer Energy Help at New Location

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By Andy Shofstall
By Sam Jones

WILLIAMSON COUNTY-- A local program that helps the needy wants to get the word out about its new location.

Crosswalk Community Action Center in Williamson County was housed at a state building near the airport, but they were forced to move when that facility was shut down. The agnecy is now centrally located in the Man-Tra-Con building at the Marion mall, between Dillard's and Pirate Pete's.

With summer temperatures here, officials say they are ready to help with cooling costs, and they want to make sure people can find them.

“Change is hard. It's hard for the clients, hard for the staff,” Kim Rutherford admitted.

This year brought many changes to Crosswalk. Now the group's biggest obstacle is connecting with those in need from their new location in the Marion mall. Rutherford hopes to overcome that before next week, when the agency's summer energy assistance program starts.

“If you feel you really need help on your electric bill, if you're really struggling, come out and get an appointment on July 7,” she urged.

The help is available for low income households trying to beat the heat.

“Sometimes they've gotta choose if they're gonna eat, get their medicine, or if they're gonna pay their electric bills, so this helps,” Rutherford explained.

There are requirements to qualify. You must have at least one resident 60 or older, draw disability income, have a child under five in the home, or require air conditioning due to a medical condition. Applicants must also be income eligible.

“A lot of new people. A lot, and I think it is just the sign of the times," said Rutherford, "People are struggling and they need help. Some are working two jobs, some don't have a job.” 

Becky Boren works one-on-one with the people who receive the assistance.

“I have seen people that cry, but you have to reassure them that's what this program is for. For whenever we have hard times, you know, that there's something out there to help them out,” Boren urged.

There is limited funding available. If you qualify, you have to wait in line Monday, July 7 to sign up for an appointment at the Marion, Mount Vernon, or West Frankfort Crosswalk locations. They'll start at 7 a.m., but arriving early is recommended.

Marion Regional
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