In our recent posts, we've been highlighting the issue of home heating and how it's particularly affecting low-income families in the northern states. While much of the recent news has been about the expected cuts in federal funding, many news sources have been also been shining the spotlight on the everyday Americans who are banding together to help these homeowners gain much-needed relief.
For example, a reader from Vermont passed on a report from his local paper, the Addison County Independent, this morning. In the article, reporter Andrew Stein detailed how Tom Tailer, a high school teacher at Mount Abraham Union High School, has been working with local students to provide this relief to individuals in need since 2008.
Called the Vermont Sustainable Heating Initiative (VSHI), the three-year-old program has since helped install nearly 20 stoves in low-income local homes and provided these individuals with low-cost pellets they can use for heat.
"Before winter even comes, in August or September, we start worrying about making it," April Parent, a Starksboro resident who hasn't been medically fit to hold a full-time job in roughly 10 years, the report says. "What are the heating bills going to run? What are the electric bills going to run? It’s really a struggle every year."
The program, which receives state funding to help individuals like Parent, typically receives around $20,000 to $40,000 annually, but it may not be awarded these funds this year. However, Tailer is optimistic that his low-cost, successful model could gain clout with legislators.
But, since individuals may not always be able to rely on the kindness of strangers, they may benefit by turning to low-cost home heating cools such as humidifiers and electric heaters to better heat their homes.
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