United Way of Weld County encourages people to look into whether or not they qualify for the Colorado Department of Human Service’s Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP).
Due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), the application deadline for the LEAP has been extended through Aug. 31, 2020, or when funds are exhausted. The LEAP season was supposed to end on April 30.
“LEAP is an important resource for low and moderate income families,” said Jeannine Truswell, president and CEO of United Way of Weld County. “This benefit can make a difference in preventing homelessness. United Way of Weld County’s partnership to help with outreach and encouraging people to look at this potential assistance can make a big difference to a homebound senior or struggling family during this crisis.”
Applications can be accessed through LEAP’s website at www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap, which also links to the state’s Colorado PEAK system for online applications, or call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435). To date, LEAP has helped more than 66,500 households with an average benefit of $372.
United Way of Weld County is partnering with Weld County to promote LEAP, a federally funded program that helps families, individuals, seniors and those with disabilities pay a portion of their winter home heating costs.
“It’s been our privilege to be able to work with the Department of Human Services at Weld County and Colorado in getting the word out on the importance of LEAP,” said Tom Fasano, marketing and communications director for United Way of Weld County. “We know the financial assistance provided by LEAP helps many struggling families, and we’re pleased to see the program has been extended during these challenging times.”
LEAP is not intended to cover all costs of home heating for qualifying participants, but rather to help alleviate some of the energy burden associated with the colder winter months. LEAP provides assistance during the winter with heating costs, equipment repair and/or replacement of inoperable heating tools.
The program normally runs from Nov. 1 through April 30, but the impact from COVID-19 has created unusual circumstances, Kullen indicated. As Coloradans recover from the economic and health challenges being faced, LEAP does not want to people to choose between “heat or eat” when community resources are available.