Pathway Inc. offers Home Energy Assistance Program for income-eligible residents

TOLEDO, Ohio — When money gets tight, leaders at Pathway Toledo say one of the first things people put off paying are their utilities.

“Because, thank God, they’re not going to get their services disconnected right away,” said Claudia Rodriguez-Salazar, director of emergency and empowerment services at Pathway.

That’s why with the winter months approaching, Pathway is highlighting the winter crisis program, a program that allows them to help households with their heating or electrical needs.

“For those customers who are in threat of disconnection, they need to transfer services or they need to establish services, we’re here to help.”

In November alone, through the program, the state helped 17,000 households with their heating or electrical needs, according to the Ohio Department of Development.

This winter, Pathway leaders like Rodriguez-Salazar believe inflation and higher costs will play a role in the number of people in need.

“They don’t have enough money to cover all their needs and that’s tough. If it wasn’t for this program they would not be able to make it day to day.”

For those in need of assistance, all it takes is starting an application online and setting up an appointment with Pathway to get help.

From there, you will be asked to provide certain information like your monthly household income, utility bills, and your social security number to get the help you need.

“Once that application is completed, then that benefit, whether that benefit would be applied directly to their utility bill or whether it would help with bulk fuel, those things would be worked out,” explained Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development.

Now, with the colder days quickly approaching, Rodriguez-Salazar says it’s important to not wait if you need help: “The moment they don’t make that payment, that puts them in a threat. And we want to be there to be able to catch them.”

This heating assistance is a one-time benefit for the season. If anyone needs additional help, Pathway has additional programming available.

Watch the video here.

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