Need Help With Heating Bills?

38 year old Rhonda Sangster hangs blankets in the doorway at her home... Trying to keep the heat in.  She says,  "It's starting to get cold and I'm really needing some help."

An empty space shows where the t.v. used to be .... She hocked it to pay for heat.  She says,  "It's just cold and them electric heaters don't put out very much."

Those space heaters aren't enough for this mom and her two sons to keep warm. And a donated griddle takes the place of a gas stove.

That's where agencies like the red cross come in ... They manage Project Share for Alabama Power and Alagasco.

Melissa George works with the American Red Cross.  She says, "Clients can come in who are eligible and we will fill out paperwork with them and then that is sent to the Birmingham office where they pay the bill."

But their money is depleted at this time. George says they expect another allocation in January.

It's a similar story with the Community Action Agency.

C.E.O. Tom Gardner says, "This is referred to as LIHEAP program... Low Income Energy assistance program. It's a program whereby low income people in our community can apply for assistance in paying their heating bills."  Gardner says federal funding comes to ADECCA and then to Community Action Programs across the state.

Gardner says,  "Right now those individuals whose heat is shut off can come to community action and fill out an application. We are negotiating with the provider."

While there is no money in the local coffer yet, Gardner expects more soon.

In the meantime, experts say get on the lists by filling out the forms... And bring in household income, social security numbers of every resident and the heating bill. Also call local churches and other charitable organizations like the Salvation Army.

Reporter: Ashley Anderson