Winter weather is upon us and the blustering cold chills us all. Imagine you don’t have enough money to keep the heat on and you’re in a constant state of worry about running out of oil or gas. Many of Westchester Community Opportunity Program’s (WestCOP) clients have to deal with not only the cold, but the financial worries that accompany the season. WestCOP offers programs to help. Applications for the Home Energy Assistance Program (aka HEAP) are available at all of the WestCOP Community Action offices in Westchester and Rockland Counties. Locations include Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, Eastchester, Tarrytown, White Plains, Greenburg, Spring Valley and Haverstraw. HEAP helps low-income people pay the cost of heating their homes. Eligibility and benefits are based on income, household size, primary heating source and the presence of a household member who is under age 6, age 60 or older or permanently disabled. In Putnam County, HEAP applications can be obtained at the Department of Social Services, but other energy assistance programs are offered through the Community Action office in Brewster. Don’t wait for a crisis to occur, contact your local Community Action office for help.

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