Beyond Emergency Assistance: A New Collaboration with Meals on Wheels People
At Oregon Energy Fund, we’ve received calls again and again from seniors living on fixed incomes while facing rising housing and healthcare costs.
Emergency assistance helps in times of crisis, but what about our seniors who live frugally and are still unable to keep up with the cost of living?
In response to growing need, we are creating a program in collaboration with Meals on Wheels People to provide monthly utility bill assistance to low-income seniors.
Our initial pilot program is planned to serve 100 households with a $25/month stipend for a 12-month period. Meals on Wheels People staff will sign up seniors in their homes, eliminating the need for recipients to travel to an agency to seek help.
This new program aims to help those like OEF recipient Jeanine in Multnomah County. Jeanine, a senior living in an older home, uses supplemental oxygen for her health, and her husband was recently placed in a care home. She has very little left each month after bills are paid and is only receiving Social Security as income. As a result, she very slowly built up a balance on her electric bill and was unable to catch up.
We were able to help Jeanine pay the balance of her bill with emergency assistance, but regular monthly assistance would have prevented her from getting behind in the first place. We are excited to implement this program and share the outcomes with you here on our website and in future newsletters.