LIHEAP funds in jeopardy


Reporter- Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - David Dycus



MAYFIELD, KY-  Already, the ax had fallen at West Kentucky Allied Services.  Cuts have reduced several programs and forced them into a smaller space at Construction Drive.

"It's what we had to do to maintain existence," the center's director, Tony Dowdy admitted Friday.

Dowdy also serves as Director of the Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program. LIHEAP kicks off Monday.  Still, he is worried about how many clients his office will be able to help.

Last year, LIHEAP dispersed $690,000 to help 5,852 families in the purchase area.  This year, thanks to federal cuts, the program will have only $545,000.  Dowdy believes more cuts are possible.

"We know we'll have enough help now. We don't know if we'll have enough help in January, February."

Last year, because of a moderate winter, funds stretched into March.  It is likely that will not be the case this year.

"I just think about the number we can help," he said when asked of his outlook on the year ahead.

Dowdy says he is hopeful for another mild winter and additional help from other organizations and area churches. 

Anyone planning on applying for LIHEAP will need to present the names of people in the household, social security numbers for all household members, proof of income for all household members, and the most recent heating bill.