Southbound lanes of I-65 shut down in Morgan County because of damaged bridge

Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama is signing up low income households for utility assistance

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. -- The state of Alabama has awarded the Community Action Agency a grant called the "Low Income Heating Assistance Program."

Governor Kay Ivey awarded the organization 37 million dollars for the upcoming fiscal year.

"We just now got the contract and we're ready to get it administered," said program director Carri Lee.

The grant money is meant for individuals and families who have a hard time meeting their energy needs or paying their utility bills. "A lot of them, especially our seniors, that are disabled that live on a very tight income each month, sometimes it depends on whether [they] stay warm or cool in the summer because they won't turn their air conditioning on," Lee said. "They need to pay their utility bill."

In some cases, individuals will go without food so they can pay their utility bill. With statistics showing poverty levels being between 18-20% in Northeast Alabama, this money is vital. "We have 11 satellite offices, so they can call us at 256-638-4430, and we can direct them to their local center," Lee said.

The Community Action Agency is also accepting donations for their organization to help with the cost of the central office's maintenance.