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CAPE Responds to Being Months Behind on Heating Assistance Applications

The Community Action Program of Evansville -- CAPE -- is months behind on processing applications for residents in need -- but it’s not from a lack of wanting to help.

Posted: Jan 26, 2021 8:22 PM

It’s now January and CAPE is just starting to get through the applications submitted in November.

The main cause for the back-log? Being short staffed and having an additional 2,000 applications, on top of the 4,000 they normally receive in one year.

Single mom of three, Bev Galloway, sent in her application to CAPE for heating assistance in the middle of November. But her attempts to reach them about her case have gone unanswered.

"I had to pay $800 to Vectren two weeks before Christmas,” Galloway said. "We count on that and when we don't have it -- I don't know what we're going to do."

Some residents have questioned -- if CAPE is running short on funds.

But this is not the case.

"In the numbers they turned in with their 2020 application -- somewhere around $800,000 in energy assistance,” said Kelley Coures, the executive director for the department of metropolitan development.

That is how much they have received from the Department of Energy and the State of Indiana.

Cindy Balde with CAPE says the main issue -- like many organizations -- is the virus.

"We've had Covid three times in our department. And we've had to quarantine," she said. "It's just a slow process -- we still have a couple of people out with Covid."

But if anyone comes in showing they have been disconnected -- they will jump to the front of the line and get assistance immediately.

"You know because we don't want nobody in the cold,” Balde said.

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