Partnership strives to serve poorest Oregonians during winter months when heating bills soar!
Oregon HEAT will extend its statewide utility bill assistance to thousands facing loss of power and heat through a $500,000 gift from Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT). MMT recently awarded over $1 Million dollars to several non-profit organizations to offer emergency help with basic needs, such as hunger and heat.
The local impact of poverty is staggering; 17 percent or nearly 660,000 Oregonians live below the poverty line. Families struggle to feed, house and keep their family warm within their limited income (family of four with less than $23,283 annual income.)
“While Oregon has experienced initial signs of economic recovery, financial challenges take a huge toll on many Oregon families. Thankfully, Meyer Memorial Trust gift to trusted charities like Oregon HEAT helps to alleviate the impact of poverty especially during the harsh winter realities.” said Joan Towers, Executive Director of Oregon HEAT.
Oregon HEAT’s emergency energy assistance is 100% funded by caring individual donors, corporate gifts, grantors like MMT and funds raised from its model Oil Reclamation Project. “MMT’s grant will serve 4,800 individuals in desperate need heat and power this winter season.” Oregon HEAT and its supporters value community leaders like Meyer Memorial Trust for their willingness to be part of the solution to fight poverty in Oregon,” Towers added.
Over 435,000 low-income households may qualify for energy assistance yet resources dwindle; Oregon HEAT predominantly serves those who experience new or temporary financial hardships and those who exceed government income levels by as little as $1.00 a year. For many, it is a choice of heating their homes or feeding their families. Oregon HEAT retained or reconnected heat and power to 5,623 households, including 1,737 seniors and 6,584 children, with prior funding from Meyer Memorial Trust.
Given Meyer Memorial Trust’s intention to help Oregon’s poorest families coupled with Oregon HEAT’s statewide alliance of 32 partner agencies, this grant dramatically expands our ability to respond to the urgent need for energy assistance with warmth and light in a time of darkness,” commented Ms. Towers.
About OREGON HEAT: www.oregonheat.org Oregon HEAT is a statewide, independent 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, founded to help low-income Oregonians obtain utility assistance during the severe weather season. Oregon HEAT $1.5 million dollar annual budget is 100% donor driven and supported.
In partnership with 32 community agencies and three utilities throughout the state, Oregon HEAT’s primary objective is to ensure continuation of household power, light and heat by providing bill payment assistance, education and advocacy for low-income families. Oregon HEAT solicits and distributes contributions from its 13,000+ individual donors including ratepayers and shareholders of Pacific Power, Portland General Electric, and West Oregon Electric Cooperative.