Message from our CEO, Karen FrederickPresident’s Proposed Budget costly for individuals, familiesand our communitiesLast week, President Trump released his budget plan for Fiscal Year 2018. His plan, which cuts or eliminates essential programs, will result in increased costs to our States and local communities.There are stunning program eliminations recommended, including eliminating the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Weatherization Program, all of the Senior Corps Programs (Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and Retired Senior Volunteer Programs), and the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), both of which are used to provide for local emergency housing and fuel costs and to help people reach self-sufficiency through financial education, job training, and education.Community Teamwork’s LIHEAP and Weatherization Programs serve 10,000 households in 19 communities across Middlesex County. These essential services keep people warm and safe in their homes. Forty-two percent (42%) of those served by LIHEAP and Weatherization are frail elderly and 40.6% are children under the age of 18. Fuel assistance can be the difference that allows seniors to stay in their own homes, avoiding much more costly living situations such as nursing home care. Weatherization Programs reduce the cost of energy, saving both the individual and the taxpayer money. The elimination of these programs will cause an increase in housing instability, homelessness, and the number of people forced to make the choice to heat or eat.These and other reductions and eliminations are wrong for our communities and will have costly implications in the long run.Helping people become self-sufficient through education, training and linkages to jobs is what we do. These programs help families and individuals on their way to self-sufficiency and protect vulnerable populations like children and seniors.For over 53 years, Community Teamwork has been helping our communities – we expect to continue to do so for many more years. We have received bipartisan support in Congress for our programs and look forward to working with our community members to make sure these essential programs are included and not reduced in the Fiscal Year 2018 Federal budget.Stay tuned to see how you can help us!
- Cheryl Hamilton, Executive Director, International Institute of New England/Lowell
- Connie Martin, Director, Division of Energy and Community Resources, Community Teamwork Inc.
- Victor Wobisike, Intern, African Community Center
- Visal Chin, Monorom Program Coordinator, CMAA
- Rodrigue Kalambayi, Client, International Institute of New England
NEUAC Launches New Website to Support LIHEAP in FY18 Budget
Dear Members and Supporters of LIHEAP:
The National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition is working diligently to develop and publish tools to help advocate for the federal utility assistance program LIHEAP during a time with the Administration has proposed to eliminate the program in the FY 2018 budget blueprint.
As supporters of low-income families who struggle to make decisions about whether to heat their homes or buy their medicine, or to put food on their tables, NEUAC opposes this decision and will strongly advocate for a final budget that protects LIHEAP and those in crisis who are saved by the program.
One step we have taken is to revive the website www.saveliheap.org. Click on the link and you will be redirected to a resource page that includes the following:
- NEUAC’s statement on the president’s proposed budget,
- Link to the All-Parties Letter in support of LIHEAP,
- A “Tell Your Story” function that can be used by caseworkers and clients to tell positive stories about how LIHEAP has helped them and their families,
- Tool to write a support letter for LIHEAP to your state representatives in Congress, and
- State data sheets with LIHEAP facts and figures.
NEUAC also has initiated the hashtag #SaveLIHEAP on Twitter. When posting or retweeting, please use this hashtag or #LIHEAP to keep the conversation going.
We hope this is a useful tool as we all band together to support this program and ensure its continuation.
Additionally, to join NEUAC and add your voice to the others who are advocating fiercely for this program, please click here.
Thank you for your support and advocacy during this critical time.