The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council in collaboration with the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA), is now taking ALL applications for the low-income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP).
BYNC’s CEDA LIHEAP service has been helping the Back of the Yards community for two years now. Ana De La Torre (45) has been a LIHEAP client for more than six years. Being unemployed and having a husband who works in landscape, De la Torre needs all the help she can get, during the winter season. “I’d rather get the help in the winter than in the summer. Many people need the help but they don’t know that the program exists. I know too many people that need this kind of help”. This is the first time De La Torres applies for LIHEAP at BYNC.
According to CEDA’s website, qualified LIHEAP applicants will receive a one-time bill payment towards a gas or electric utility bill, and may receive one grant for every household per program year. Applicants will also have two affordable payment options, such as LIHEAP Direct Vendor Payment (DVP) and LIPHEAP Percent of Income Plan (PIPP). The DVP offers a winter energy service to which customers receive a one-time benefit payment. The PIPP allows customers to have a chance to pay a reduced amount, on their utility bills. Payments received will be determined by the person’s income, household size, fuel type and geographic location.
LIHEAP also started their ComEd Residential Special Hardship Program. Household customers that have past due balance up to $500 on ComEd bills and demonstrate hardship, can benefit from this program. The program will provide a one-time credit equal to the past due balance. Program is not available for accounts that are disconnected, have balances over $1200 and/or fraud.
Applicants need to set up an appointment and apply in person. All members of the household must bring proof of income for the last 30 days of application date, a copy of heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days and social security cards. Those who have utilities included in the rent must bring proof of rental agreement and monthly rental amount. Applicants who receive TANF need a copy of a medical eligibility card.
To learn more of other energy asistance programs click HERE.
For more information in regards to LIHEAP or any other CEDA programs, contact the April Hall at (773) 523-4416 ext. 101 or call CEDA at (800) 571- CEDA (2332).
Back of the Yards General Educational Development (GED) class is now in session for the 2011-2012 academic years. The GED testing program was first developed by the American Council on Education in 1942 to offer World War II veterans the opportunity to go to school. Now, GED courses are continuing to give adults and students the opportunity to earn a High School Equivalence Certificate and attend a college or university. In order to pass the test, students need to pass all five parts: Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, Language Arts: Writing and Language Arts: Reading.
Salvador Cisneros, professor of GED Spanish class at the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council has been instructing classes for 17 years. Cisneros has about 30 to 40 students per session; with a high percentage of students that pass the test and earn their GED diploma in a year. Most of the students are Spanish speaking Hispanics between the ages of 18 – 40.
Pedro Lopez, 40, has been trying to obtain a GED diploma for the past two years; however, because of life’s difficulties, he was not able to finish the semester. “What motivated me to come back was that I noticed people who have a degree have better careers and get paid more. I want to obtain a GED diploma and continue my studies in Computation,” he said. Lopez also says the course is challenging him as he is learning a lot with Professor Cisneros, since he was out of school for such a long time. “If for any reason any person cannot obtain a GED diploma, they should take advantage of the next opportunity he/she gets, because it will help them achieve a lot in their life,” Lopez said.
The GED program is open to the public and runs from September 23, 2011 to February 23, 2012.
The classes are taught at the BYNC office, located at 1751 W. 47th Street, 2nd floor. The classes are held Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
For more information, contact Salvador Cisneros at email@example.com or call (773)523-4416 ext. 117
By: Evelyn Oropeza
Enroll today to the GED Classes!
GED Test gives individual an opportunity to earn a High School Equivalency Certificate. The GED Program covers subjects such as Language Arts-Writing and Reading, Social Studies, Science, and Mathematics in preparation to the exam. Classes start on September 23, 2011 at the BYNC office located at 1751 W. 47th Street, Monday through Thursday at 9:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. for 5 months until February 23, 2012.
Classes are free of cost and in Spanish.
For more information, please contact Salvador Cisneros at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (773) 523-4416 ext. 117.
1823 W. 47th Street- Lower level
Two sessions: 5:30 PM English
6:30 PM Spanish
We invite all community residents both homeowners and tenants to come and learn about the energy programs that will help you:
- Lower energy bills (ComEd)
- Insulate attics, basements, windows and doorways (tenants and homeowners)
- Clean, tune and replace your furnace and boilers
- and even PAY for bills (ComEd, Peoples Gas)
Share the Warmth program is a matching grant program funded by Peoples Gas to assist low-income families and individuals who are having problems paying their Peoples Gas heating bills. Low-income customers whose total household income is below 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible for apply for Share the Warmth grants of up to $200, but not more than what is necessary to give them a $0 balance on their account.
This grant will be applied to the balance on the customer’s Peoples Gas account. The grant can be no larger than $200 per customer per year and cannot result in a credit balance. Customers who have received LIHEAP assistance this year, or will be applying for a LIHEAP grant, are eligible to apply for a Share the Warmth grant. When a customer applies for Share the Warmth, they must bring a Government ID for the customer of record, 30-day proof of income for all earning household members and their most recent Peoples Gas bill which must be under the past 30 days.