Extreme Weather Leaves People Unable to Pay Energy Bills - FOX 35 News Orlando

Extreme Weather Leaves People Unable to Pay Energy Bills

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A harsh winter transitioning too quickly into a sweltering summer means some people who live in the Charlotte area are seeing massive increases in their utility bills.

With these double-digit increases, many people are unable to keep up with their bills, and entire families are left without power. No power means no way to keep cool, and for some people that can pose a serious risk.

Crisis Assistance Ministry, a non profit organization that helps people with who have had their power shut off -- or are days away from this happening -- says their resources are running dangerously low.

The rapid weather shift -- combined with the fact that federal funding for utility assistance was recently cut drastically -- means there are more people than ever lined up to receive help and less money to assist them with.

Crisis Assistance Ministry CEO Carol Hardison says they're feeling the pinch. They are unable to help people that come in in need of money to keep their power on. This was something they were able to do when they had adequate resources from public funding.

Roberta Ray was there today to ask for help. Her power was shut off today, so she came in search of the money she needs to get it reconnected. Because of the lack of funds and the increased need, the Ministry was unable to help her financially.

Hardison says she hopes government officials will realize that many people have yet to recover from the recession and that funding for services such as energy and utility assistance is vital to communities like this one.

She also stressed that contributions from individuals and businesses can do just as much for her non profit as public funding.

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