Georgia began a summer cooling program with LIHEAP funds the first week of August. However, in some counties, the program managed to serve only seniors, the group given priority, and closed down before it could provide assistance to the general public.
Newspapers in Savannah, Columbus, Haralson County and other areas reported long lines, jammed calling centers and frustrated residents. The cooling program was to prioritize assistance to those age 65 and older for the first week and serve the general public with remaining funds the second week. Agencies in these areas ran out of funds quickly and had none for the general public.
Savannah’s TV station reported more than 300 people lined up August 10 outside of the local administering agency hoping to get help with their electric bills. The agency in Columbus was reportedly putting people on a waiting list.
In a report to the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association earlier this year, Georgia’s LIHEAP said it would serve at least 20 percent more households in FY 2009 than during the previous year, or over 98,000 households.
Source: Georgia media