A District couple with five children ranging in age from seven months to 11 years in two months behind in their utility bills. They appeal to the United Planning Organization (UPO) for help, and UPO pays $300 of their $308 gas bill and $100 of a $303 electric bill.
A 73-year-old woman living on Social Security is unable to pay $76 in utility bills or buy heating oil. UPO pays the bills and buys the woman a tank of oil.
The Energy Assistance Crisis Program for 1978-80 is underway.
This year UPO has received more than $747,000 in federal antipoverty funds to help low-income District residents meet high fuel and utility costs. In the three weeks the program has been operating, $90,000 has been dispensed to 860 people to help them pay such bills.
Sallie W. Williams, a public information officer with UPO, said last year $550,000 in grant funds aided 5,000 District residents. This year the program is expected to help at least $6,000 people.
Under the guidelines of the program, needy low-income D.C. residents can receive a one-time grant of up to $400 to help pay excessive fuel or utility bills. Applicants must show proof of income and copies of the bills to be paid. If service is about to be terminated, "Our staff gets in contact with the utility companies," Williams said.
UPO pays all the bills directly, Williams said. The applicants receive no money.
Application for assistance can be obtained by visiting or writing UPO headquarters -- 1021 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005 -- or UPO Neighborhood Development Centers and delegate agencies. At-home services also are offered for the disabled.
Applications will be accepted until the end of September 1980.
UPO centers participating in the program:
Neighborhood Development Center No. 1, 1336 Eighth St. NW (462-6401).
Neighborhood Development Center No. 2, 1801 Ninth St. NW (387-7055).
Neighborhood Development Center No. 3, 2929 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE (562-3800).
Peoples Involvement Corp., 1441 Florida Ave. NW (797-3990).
Change, Inc, 3308 14th St. NW (387-3725).
Center City Community Corp., 1126 First St. NE (789-0866).
Southeast Neighborhood House, 1225 Maple View Pl. SE (889-1700, extension 54).
Far East Community Services, Inc., 5929 E. Capitol St. SE (583-6000).
Near Northeast Community Improvement Corp., 1125 H St. NE (399-6900).
Friendship House, 619 D St. SE (547-8880, extension 38 or 58).
Southwest Community House, 156 Q St. SW (488-7210, extension 35 or 37).
For additional information call 638-2280 or 638-2366.