Cathy Browning doesn't just need power for her lights, she needs it for her livelihood.
“It keeps my oxygen running and my heat,” said Cathy.
But with her electric bill already past due and no money to pay it, she's desperate for help.
“I have no other options,” said Cathy. “And without it, I don't know how I would survive.”
And Cathy's not alone.
Kelley Ezell, Director of the Upstate Family Resource Center says it's an unfortunate sign of the season.
“Especially this time of year,” said Ezell. “We focus on assistance with families who are struggling with food with financial resources.”
The center helps families in Spartanburg County with a variety of services. Ezell encourages people who need help to call and make an appointment. And come prepared with the required paperwork to qualify.
“Our donors depend on us to spend their investment wisely. And we want to make sure that we're doing our due diligence and our homework to make a good decision in how we can help,” said Ezell.
If you don't know what agencies are available in your area, just dial 211. It connects you to a trained professional who will refer you to the right agency.
The United Way launched the statewide service last January.
“You might be on the phone for a minute to two minutes depending on what all of your needs are,” said Heather Witt of United Way of the Piedmont. “You could walk away with so many resources that you didn't even know existed in our community.”
Cathy is still trying to tap into those resources before her power gets shut off this week.
“I just hope you know, that they can help me with this,” said Cathy.
She’s also homebound so she's dealing with another hurdle of not being able to go to these assistance agencies in person to apply. Cathy is now reaching out to Duke Energy to seek another extension on paying her bill if she can't find an agency that will help.
That South Carolina 211 service helps with everything from financial assistance to mental health needs and even questions about the Affordable Care Act.
To use it, just dial 211 from any phone. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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