State, Denver offer utility assistance to families in need

People can start to apply November 1

DENVER -- Mornings like Friday's are a reminder why winter heating isn't a luxury, but a necessity. 

One of four Colorado households struggle to heat their home with cutting back on other essentials like food or prescriptions, according to Energy Outreach Colorado. 

Starting this year, Denver is offering help to families who struggle to make ends meet. The city announced earlier this month about its Temporary Rental Utility Assistance Program (TRUA). It's a program helping families with rent and utilities. 

"The goal is to meet people where they are in the middle. We understand housing costs have gone up pretty dramatically. That's no secret to anybody here in Denver," said Courtney Meihls with Denver Human Services. 

A single person making $47,000 dollars a year or less, or under $67,100 dollars for a family a four, can qualify. 

The assistance can happen up to two months. 

State Help

The need extends far beyond the metro.

Energy Outreach Colorado reports about half a million households in the state had incomes below the federal poverty line. These households qualify for assistance in many programs. 

The state offers a Low-income Energy Assistance Program called LEAP. This is for families who earn 165% of the federal poverty limit. That equates to a family of four making $40,596 dollars or a single person making $19,896 dollars. 

75,000 households throughout the state received assistance. 

Denver residents can call 311 for more information.

Anyone outside of Denver can call 1-866-HEAT HELP.

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