Helping Hands are living up to their name

By Portia Williams -

A $14,000 grant from Phase 32 of the Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP) will allow Helping Hands of Greenup County (HHOGC) to provide utility assistance to residents.

About Us HHOGC, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3), faith-based human services agency providing emergency assistance by direct distribution of food, clothing, utility assistance.

HHOGC also provides prescription assistance, referral services and education to low income elderly, children and families at risk in Greenup County, Ky.

Debbie Blevins, executive director of HHOGC, said the funds will be allocated towards electricity, water and natural gas for Greenup County residents.

“We applied, and received a FEMA grant and we are going to have some funds in the month of January for utility assistance, any metered utility which would include electricity, gas and water,” Blevins said.

HHOGC can assist with up to $300.00 in assistance on one utility bill covering a one month billing period. Clients must either be within 10 days of the bill’s due date or be past due to qualify. EFSP funding cannot be used for deposits, late fees, reconnect fees or any other service fees or charges, according to Blevins.

Recipients must be a resident of Greenup County, have a Greenup County photo identification or driver license. Applicants must also bring a copy of the utility bill that is within 10 days of being paid, or is in disconnection status for which they are seeking assistance.

Blevins said no walk-in appointments will be granted, all applicants must call in advance to schedule an appointment at both the Greenup and South Shore offices by calling 606-473-6916.

Phase 32 of the EFSP assistance program ends on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, or whenever funds have been depleted.

“It is such a necessary thing, as we are heading into winter, to be able to help somebody with $100, or $200, for their utility bill, although there is a $300 cap,” she said. “It is crucial to be able to help people to get through that one month that can help to set them on a routine to help pay the other months.”

She said she has had a tremendous amount of positive responses from those who are have benefit from the funding

“I even had a referral from a utility company, that said, “Call Helping Hands and see if they can help you.” “The clients are just thrilled, because they didn’t expect it. We’ve had very limited funds the for the last three months, and they just didn’t expect it, so that has been a great thing for us to be able to provide some relief.”

HHOGC is located at 412 Main Street in downtown Greenup, Ky., and 496 Main Street in downtown South Shore, Ky.

By Portia Williams

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.