Last Resort for those in Crisis
Energy $aving Tips from United Way
Project Warm-Up is a heating assistance program of United Way of Southeastern CT (UWSECT) 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.
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 (This United Way 211 service, formerly called InfoLine, is a free call from anywhere in CT)
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 UWSECT AFL-CIO Labor Liaison Sharon Peccini.
For more information or to enroll in Project Warm-Up please call (860) 464-7281.
In 2013-14, Project Warm-Up provided 434 families with home heating assistance so that they would not go cold. The good news is that Project Warm-Up does make an impact. A study conducted of clients from 2004-2006 found only 1% (14) of the families receiving assistance did so for three years in a row. 8% (97) of the families received assistance for two out of three years with the remaining 91% (1,156) only requesting assistance for one out of three years. These results are credited to Project Warm Up's inclusion of free case managment services which are offered in tandem with the emergency heating relief.
Project Warm-Up is funded in part by the Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut, the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund; Bank of America, Trustee, and the Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation; Bank of America, Trustee.