Utility assistance phone bank opens to high demand - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Utility assistance phone bank opens to high demand

Posted: Updated:
  • News on WMCTV.comNewsMore>>

  • MPD officer charged with sexual battery

    MPD officer charged with sexual battery

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:17 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:17:45 GMT
    (WMC-TV) – An officer with the Memphis Police Department is charged with sexual battery that stemmed from events that happened during a traffic stop on February 11. While on duty, MPD Officer Meekos Evans,More >>
    An officer with the Memphis Police Department is charged with sexual battery that stemmed from events that happened during a traffic stop on February 11.More >>
  • 'Heal the Hood' looks at media's influence on children

    'Heal the Hood' looks at media's influence on children

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:08:52 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - Violence is a problem plaguing neighborhoods in the Mid-South. Now one local organization is taking a hard look at how media may influence that problem. This will be a very insightful weekendMore >>
    Violence is a problem plaguing neighborhoods in the Mid-South. Now one local organization is taking a hard look at how media may influence that problem.More >>
  • MPD could lose 100 more officers

    MPD could lose 100 more officers

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:28 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:28:42 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - The Memphis police force needs officers. Director Toney Armstrong projects even more loss of man power than he is already experiencing. Right now his focus is getting more men and women in blue. "IMore >>
    Director Toney Armstrong projects even more loss of man power than he is already experiencing. Right now his focus is getting more men and women in blue.More >>

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Monday was the first official day to sign up for the nearly $6 million Shelby County is handing out for utility assistance.

From the moment the CSA phone bank officially opened, stories about high utility bills and pleas for help came pouring in.

"I ain't had utilities on in three months," potential applicant Gina Resavy said.

Resavy came to the CSA office in person asking for help. However, she and many others were told that appointments must be made by phone first.  Only then can a person go in to speak with a counselor.
 
"It's just that there is so much need in our community. The economic situation is not the best, utility bills have gone up, people just running out of jobs. People just need help," Dottie Jones of CSA said.

Increasing the need is this year, officials said, is the ongoing economic crisis.

"I think about all the people with adjustable rate mortgages that have gone up recently and you know if they're paying everything they can to keep their house, and so other things go by the wayside," Jones said.

Resavy agreed, saying she needs help because she is unemployed.
   
"We just had to apply for government assistance - food stamps and all that stuff - 'cause it's hard, especially if you got kids and there is only one person working in the household," Resavy said.

Officials said an estimated 500 people called asking for help on the first official day. So many called, they are now booked for appointments until February.

If you need utility assistance, call 901-362-6518 or 380-3756. Officials say who is eligible for the assistance depends on income, age, and the number of people in your household. If you qualify, you will be given up to $600 in assistance.


Click here to e-mail Ben Watson.

Powered by WorldNow