LIHEAP program runs out of funds

LIHEAP program runs out of funds
Jessica Nevils knows the benefits of the low income housing energy assistance program known as LIHEAP.  Her journey with the program, sponsored by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, started almost three years ago. 
"They helped me.  I did knot know what to do.  I did not know where to go.  I needed help with my utilities" said Nevils. 
Being the mother of two kids and a caregiver for another, Nevils recognizes the LIHEAP program as a major part of the reason she's been able to make it this far. 
"I wouldn't have what I have right now if it wasn't for section 8 helping me and the LIHEAP program and the food stamp office" she said.  
Now, at least for the next few months, people like Nevils who utilize the program will have to find alternate means of assistance.
"We haven't lost funding per say, we have just expended all of our funding" said program coordinator with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Juana Taylor. 
Taylor says the program's demand this fiscal year has caused the program to use all of their funds. 
"We serviced over 4,112 people this year and we had a funding allocation of $1.2 million and we just exceeded that and we just have to wait to receive our second allocation" said Taylor. 
That won't be until December, when the program receives their new funds from the state.  Until then, they're helping existing clients find alternative forms of assistance. 
"We're going to have to refer to other agencies that may have funding like Catholic Social Services, for the elderly, Council on Aging we try to do things like that.  Salvation army, United Way they can help provide utility assistance until we get our allocations again for the next fiscal year" said Taylor.

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