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Assistance Program Loses Funding

The Missouri Community Action Center has had people lining up to get energy assistance applications all day long. Representatives of the non-profit say they have spent close to $700,000 and now they are asking the community for help. Melody Rodriguez, the Energy Coordinator from the CMCA said, “I have 300 on a wait list right now, and it’s climbing, every day the mail comes, and if they’ve already received their one-time energy assistance payment, that’s all I can give them.”Rodriguez says she’s known for some time the group would be losing this funding.”I have appealed to the state, and of course we are trying to appeal to the federal level, trying to get them to give us energy assistance funding so we can receive more crisis money.”Things are getting worse for the city of Columbia as well as they report a drop in donations for its utility assistance program too.Lynn Cannon, who works for the City of Columbia says, “individuals need to come in and get their utilities paid, and therefore they’re wanting to get the assistance, and unfortunately the monies that are available for that are drying up.”City representatives say they’re seeing an increase in people coming in due to the lack of funding with the Central Missouri Community Action Center and other non-profits.Rodriguez says, “there are several things that take up electricity, and if we can’t help them with their disconnect, and they get a 300 dollar electric bill, that makes it impossible for them to get things like food, or medical supplies.”The group’s reaching out to churches and other outlets, but it’s still short, but right now they’re only offering one-time energy assistance which pays $100 during a one-year period, and the city of Columbia tell us you can still donate to its program on your energy bill as well.

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