Jody is a single mother on disability. Her daughter is seventeen, and they live in Cabot. Jodi called St. Francis House mid- June for help with an electric bill. “My benefits don’t come in until July 3rd, and the electric company says they’ll cut off my electricity if I can’t pay them before the end of the month.”
Unfortunately, this is a common story heard in St. Francis House Social Services. Jodi’s disability benefit is $769 a month. She also receives $160 a month in food stamps. With food stamps, and making use of food pantries and clothing closets, those needs can be met, but after $700 in rent, there is rarely enough for all the utility bills.
If someone receives a shut-off notice, they can apply to St. Francis House for assistance. St. Francis House staff then work with the client and the utility company to avoid the utility being shut-off, help pay the bill and set-up a payment plan for back due amounts. “The client pays a portion of the bill, and then we pay a portion of the amount due to the utility company avoiding the additional fee they would get if something is turned off. Setting up a plan for any additional amount due helps them avoid another shut-off notice” says Phyllis Jones, head of Social Services.
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