Fall 2017: 4 Stories

Fall 2017: 4 Stories

September 18, 2017


Sometimes ordinary Oregonians find themselves in hardship situations that can lead to a financial crisis.  That’s when getting the emergency energy assistance they need to pay their utility bills can go a long way to supporting household stability.  Below are four stories from the Portland Metro area that illustrate scenarios where neighbors helping neighbors through the power of giving makes a truly powerful difference.

Snow Ball Effect: “Due to a winter ice storm that temporarily closed down her work place, my roommate wasn’t paid and couldn’t cover her portion of the rent.  This happened right after my dad passed away.  So I was simultaneously hit with the full cost of rent, and helping my family pay for the funeral.  When we received a higher than usual energy bill that month due to record low temperatures, the bills snow balled out of control.  Friends suggested I check the Oregon Energy Fund website for resources, and before long, we were getting help with our energy bill to stabilize our finances enough to keep it all together through that rocky period.” -Gresham Area Student

Staying Warm and Housed: I live alone on a fixed income and I do everything I can to keep costs down on a very tight budget.   To be eligible for my affordable housing program I cannot risk a lapse of payment or a shut off of my utilities, but this past winter was so bad my utility bill jumped up to more than $300.  I was so scared I did not have enough money to pay the bill this time, but a neighbor told me about Oregon Energy Fund.  With their help I was able to take care of my energy bill so that I don’t have to risk losing my apartment on top of everything else.” –Downtown Portland Area Resident

Family Copes with Lost Wages: “My husband lost his job.  Since then he has been seeking employment for over two months. Money has been tight and we’ve had to make tough choices between things like buying food and medicine so I appreciated the emergency help we received when we couldn’t pay our utility bill.  I think about all the ways this helps our family function at a basic level by providing lights, refrigeration, cooking heat, and much more.” –North Portland Area Family

Aging at Home: My parents are doing what they can to stay in the home they have lived in for almost 40 years.  They receive SSI and sometimes it is difficult to stay on top of the heating and cooling bills when they have so many medical needs and it essential expenses to take care of.  They used to donate to charity to help others; and they were embarrassed when they needed charity themselves.  What a relief it was to know that Oregon Energy Fund was there when they needed to get help with their utility bill.” –SW Portland Elderly Couple