Department of Human Services offices taking requests for heating assistance

Wednesday, December 1st 2004, 10:45 am
By: News On 6

The rising price of natural gas and the falling temperatures mean many Oklahoma families will have to make a tough decision this winter.

The Community Action Project predicts many in the Tulsa area will have to choose between staying warm and putting food on the table. But help is available.

News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says the state has set aside more than $7-million to help needy Oklahomans with their heating bills this winter.

Folks lined up before the doors opened Wednesday morning at the Department of Human Services office in north Tulsa. Workers say they helped between 700 and 800 before the end of the day.

If you need help with heating bills, you will need to take a photo ID and a current heating bill, gas or electric, and DHS will be able to figure out if you are eligible for assistance. After that, it's about a five minute process to fill out the necessary paperwork and then DHS will make a payment directly to the utility company.

DHS assistant county director Donnie Checotah: "Our main objective is to serve the people of Oklahoma and try to do everything we can to try to keep families from being needy."

The state of Oklahoma has set aside even more money than last year, but some folks feel that it will not be enough to cover all the requests.