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Home heating assistance is available for those in need

Project Warm-up is a heating assistance program of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut which collaborates with local service providers to meet the home heating needs of families in southeastern Connecticut that are experiencing a short-term crisis. Last winter, Project Warm-Up provided more than 280 households with home heating assistance so that they would not go cold.

Target beneficiaries of the program are those families that otherwise "fall through the cracks" or between guidelines of other local, state and federal assistance programs, such as individuals laid off due to downsizing, people experiencing unusual medical expenses, and families in emergency situations. Families served are represented by virtually every town and city in New London County. Support is offered for natural gas, woodstove, electric heating, and oil heat.

When all other means of assistance have been exhausted, United Way’s Project Warm-up steps in to ensure no one freezes during the winter. A local service provider will arrange for heating relief through United Way’s online portal, and they will offer case management services to empower the client to find solutions to their circumstances and avoid future crisis.

Providers teach budgeting skills and discuss ways to help clients cover all the costs of living in the future, so instead of relying each year on assistance through programs like Project Warm-Up, they can gain comfort and independence.

As Project Warm-up is meant as a last resort, anyone seeking help with their home heating should contact 211 Connecticut to find out which heating assistance programs they are eligible for and would best meet their needs, such as Operation Fuel and the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program, operated TVCCA. You can also visit 211’s new and improved website to view the database online at www.211ct.org. 211 is a free call from anywhere in the state and is open 24/7.

Contributions to United Way ensure that no family goes cold this winter. Because great things happen when we LIVE UNITED! To donate, click here.