Application period for HEAP officially begins today

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The application period for HEAP officially begins today and dozens of people stood in line this morning outside of the Erie County department of Social Services building on Main Street in downtown Buffalo. Many people say they depend on this program to get through the winter.

“It really made a difference and the system that they have this year, we’re in and out this year,” said Jasmine Coles of Buffalo.

Jasmine Coles was one of the first of several people in line well before the doors opened at 8 o’clock this morning.

“Not everybody makes enough money to make ends meet and in the winter time I mean we do live in Buffalo, New Tork so it’s cold and we do have to heat our houses,” said Coles.

“I wanted to get here early because I know a couple years ago the line went around the corner,” said Robert Ashley of Buffalo.

The line Monday morning did stretch around the corner, with people hoping to get some help with the rising cost of their gas bill this winter.

“It’s triple especially when it’s really really cold and the snowstorms, you know how Buffalo weather is,” said Bianca Bolton of Tonawanda.

Some people could qualify for the Home Energy Assistance Program known as HEAP, and not even know it.

A family of four with a household income of more than $53,000 a year can still qualify.

“With me being a single mom I can’t always pay the bills and normally I use a lot of gas in the winter time so they help me out a lot,” said Coles.

For more information on heating assistance guidelines you can call the HEAP hotline at 716-858-7644.

You can also go to http://www2.erie.gov/socialservices/index.php?q=heap-home-energy-assistance-program

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