HEAP Winter Crisis Program begins today

Posted at 7:56 AM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-01 07:56:22-04

CLEVELAND — Beginning Monday, residents can begin applying for Ohio’s Winter Crisis Program known as HEAP. The program helps residents pay utilities during the winter months.

To be eligible, residents must live at or below 175% of the federal poverty line, not counting coronavirus stimulus checks.

Anyone who’s struggling to pay utility bills has been threatened with disconnection or has less than 25% of fuel can qualify for help.

In Lorain, that’s about 13% of the population.

Darnella Higginbotham with the Lorain County Community Action Agency said the need for heating help is still in high demand due to the pandemic.

“I know last year we serviced a little over 2,400 families and out of that 2,400 at least over a thousand were processed for monetary assistance towards their utility bills,” said Higginbotham.

The program runs until March 31, 2022.

Find more information on the HEAP program here.

Find more information on Lorain's program here.

RELATED: How to apply for utility assistance through Winter Crisis Program

This story is part of The Rebound: Northeast Ohio, News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:

Getting Back to Work - Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.

Making Ends Meet - Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.

Managing the Stress - Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.

Doing What's Right - Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.

Do you have an idea for a Rebound story? Email us at