Special to the Register
Gainesville Daily Register
Cooke County —
The holiday season includes opportunities from local governments for low-income families to receive assistance.
The Texoma Council of Governments (TCOG), which serves Cooke County among others, currently provides utility payment and home weatherization assistance.
Utility assistance provides co-payment of utilities and the provision of supportive services in an effort to transition low-income families out of poverty and off of public assistance. Weatherization assistance provides the installation of energy saving applications to homes which reduces energy consumption up to 40 percent.
The TCOG website explained that utility assistance includes the co-payment of utilities for a specific period of time while learning ways to conserve energy. Services also include a case management program with the goal of transitioning families off welfare by providing assistance with the cost of expenses such as education, training and other necessary supplies and supportive services.
Weatherization assistance provides for repairs which reduce utility costs by minimizing the infiltration of air. In either case, each client situation is evaluated through an application process and the appropriate program service is then determined. Individual goals and objectives are identified as well as techniques for budgeting and energy conservation which will transition the client from poverty and/or address crisis situations.
When applying for assistance, you give us permission to obtain your utility records for the past year. For households on a fixed income, the payments are based on the billing history for that month in the previous year, up to the allowable dollar limit.
Eligibility is based on the level of household income for all persons 18 years and over. Other factors include whether there is a deposit due on the utility account, and the account must be in the name of an adult living in the household.
For information, call (903) 813-3541 or visit www.texoma.cog.tx.us.