Greene County residents who are already feeling the heat this season may want to check their eligibility for Greene County’s Department of Social Services cooling assistance program.
The cooling assistance program provides purchase, repair and/or payment of electricity to operate cooling equipment. To be eligible, a household must have at least one vulnerable individual who is more than 60 years of age, someone living with a disability or a child under the age of 6.
On June 4 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Greene County’s Department of Social Services will hold a cooling assistance event to inform the community on available assistance, as well as process early applications for benefits.
“We just want people to come out and participate,” Anne Winn, Greene County Department of Social Services benefit program supervisor, said. “They can apply for cooling assistance while they’re here and that’s our main focus, but they can also apply for any of the benefit programs that they want that day.”
In addition to offering cooling assistance, resources will be available to apply for Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). With cooling assistance, households can apply for multiple benefits. To speed up the application process, community members are asked to bring a copy of their electric bill and verification of income on June 4, Winn added.
Enrollment in the cooling assistance program opens June 17, but the June 4 event will allow community members an opportunity to get assistance while applying and have their application processed sooner. The program will only pay a current bill, not any past bills, so early sign-up is encouraged.
Approximately 200 households in Greene County were assisted by the cooling program last year, but Winn said she think there are more families who could utilize the service.
“This is a place where you come and ask for help. A lot of people have a lot of pride and don’t want to ask for help, but at this event we want to tell people if this is something you’re eligible for, take advantage of it. It’s here to serve you,” Winn said.
Those who miss the June 4 event can apply for cooling assistance beginning June 17 through Aug. 15 by visiting www.commonhelp.virginia.gov/access or by calling (855) 635-4370.