Last Resort for those in Crisis
Project Warm-Up is a heating assistance program of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut which collaborates with other local service providers to meet the home heating needs of families in southeastern Connecticut who are experiencing a short-term crisis. When all other means of assistance are gone, Project Warm-Up steps in to help. 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 (i.e. individuals laid off due to downsizing, people experiencing unusual medical expenses and families in emergency). Families served are represented by virtually every township in southeastern Connecticut. Support is offered for natural gas, woodstove, electric heating, and oil heat. In the winter of 2014-15, Project Warm-Up provided more than 280 families with home heating assistance so that they would not go cold.
How does it work
Because Project Warm-Up is designed as a last resort, callers are gently instructed to first exhaust all other means of assistance available. Other sources of heating assistance vary according to town and individual circumstances but several exist. More information can be found about these first lines of assistance by calling:
- The fuel bank in your town or
- 2-1-1 (It's a free call from anywhere in Connecticut and open 24/7)
ALSO: There are two State programs to assist residents with energy bills and weatherization. Aid has been increased and criteria changed this year to cover more people, so make no assumptions and review the guidelines at
IF ALL MEANS OF ASSISTANCE ARE EXHAUSTED individuals are then directed to call their nearest Project Warm-Up affiliate. This local service provider will arrange for heating relief and 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.
This program is administered by the United Way AFL-CIO Labor Liaison Sharon Peccini. For more information or to enroll in Project Warm-Up please call (860) 464-7281.
Many thanks to the following funders for their support of United Way's Project Warm-up:
The Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut, the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund; Bank of America, Trustee, the Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation; Bank of America, Trustee, the Edward and Mary Lord Foundation, and the MDA-UAW Local 571.