Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition

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In Connecticut this program is called the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and is housed under the Department of Social Services (DSS). The state's Community Action Agencies administer the $74M+ program locally in all 169 cities and towns. CAAs are now accepting CEAP applications for the 2017-2018 winter season and expect more applications in the coming weeks, especially as temperatures begin to drop. Homeowners and/or renters may apply, and funds may be used to pay for whatever source of heating residents have in their homes. This includes wood, electric, oil, kerosene, or natural gas.

CAAs will certify oil deliveries; they began Wednesday, Nov. 15, for those who heat with oil, propane, and deliverable fuels. May 1, 2018, is the last day households can apply for benefits unless the household is utility heated and has a shut off notice for its primary source of heat. May 15, 2018 is the last day a utility heated household with a shut off notice for its primary source of heat can apply for benefits.

Another protection for Connecticut's struggling families is the utility moratorium, or winter hardship, which provides protection for eligible households against heat source shut-offs between November 1st and May 1st. Gas and electric utilities cannot be shut off (summer or winter) if lack of the utility creates a life-threatening situation. If a customer is having trouble paying their utility bills during the winter moratorium period, Community Action Agencies will work with them on affordable utility payment programs, including the Matching Payment Program (MPP) and Below Budget Payment Plans. MPP is a payment incentive program that allows eligible utility customers to maintain year-round electric and gas service and pay an agreed-upon amount each month to pay down the balance on their heating bill. If customers cannot afford the utility payment plan, CAAs work with the customer and can submit a Below Budget Payment Plan based on the household income and expenses.

A CEAP benefit to a household automatically makes that household eligible for weatherization services. So, in addition to heating assistance, CAAs will refer customers to those agencies providing weatherization services, which helps minimize energy-related costs and fuel usage in homes through retrofits and home improvement measures. Additionally, there are funds available this year through the CAA for heating system repair and replacement if such services are deemed necessary and as the amount of funds allocated allow. Lastly, when a customer comes to a CAA for energy assistance, the agency will also assist customers in accessing other benefits for which they may be eligible including SNAP and other food programs, financial counseling, child care, and case management.

Connecticut's poorest families struggle each and every year to heat their homes in this a state with one of the highest utility rates in the country; customers many times having to choose between heating and eating or heating and paying for their medicines. CEAP allows them to not only cover high home energy costs and keep warm during the cold winter months, but gives low-income families the opportunity to address other critical, basic needs, rather than having to choose between them. Any resident who needs help paying their heating bill this winter should contact their Community Action Agency immediately.

For more information on Connecticut's Energy Assistance Program, how to find your local CAA to apply, or to make a donation, visit www.cafca.org or contact the Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA), 144 Clinton Street, New Britain, CT, 06053, 860-832-9438.

Senior Center News

WINDSOR LOCKS — The Windsor Locks Senior Center, 41 Oak St., announced its upcoming events. The senior center can be reached at 860-627-1425.

Funday Monday: Come to the center on Mondays between 9 a.m. and noon. Do you need help with a computer document? Are you a veteran that would like to share your stories or connect with a fellow veteran? Monday is the day. Let's get together for some social productive fun.

Bring a project you are working on at home, such as a craft, sorting coupons, organizing papers, updating address books, creative coloring, etc.

Health & Wellness: Winter class sessions are now forming. Call 860-627-1425 for details.

Active Exercise: Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m., 7 weeks, $56

Chair Yoga: Thursdays, 9:30 a.m., 6 weeks, $30

Water Fitness: Mondays, 1 p.m., Candlewood Suites, 6 weeks, $30

Zumba Gold: Wednesdays, 1 p.m., 6 weeks, $30

Creative Arts Programs

Watercolors - Wednesdays, 10 a.m., 8 weeks, $40

Quilting - Tuesday, 10 a.m., $3 per class

Scrapbooking - Second and fourth Tuesday, 10:30 a.m.

Knitting - Tuesday, 1 p.m., $3

Leisure Fun: Cribbage - Mondays at 10 a.m.; Bunco - Tuesday at 1 p.m.; Mexican Train Dominoes - Wednesday 1 p.m.; Bridge - every other Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.; Wii Bowling - Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m.; Bingo - Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 12:30 p.m.; Setback - Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m.; Billiards Tuesdays at 10 a.m.; and Poker Fridays at 10 a.m.

Daily lunch is served at noon, with a suggested donation of $2.50. Breakfast is served on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9:30 a.m., with a donation of $3. Come share a conversation with new friends or reconnect with some old acquaintances.

American Legion Membership Drive

WINDSOR LOCKS — The American Legion Post of Windsor Locks is conducting a membership drive. The Post has established a goal of acquiring at least 10 new members by the end of January 2018. The Post membership presently stands at 273 members.

Some of the services and programs provided by the Post are as follows: veteran referrals for benefits; veteran hospital visitations; Soldiers, Sailors and Marine Fund administration; veteran holiday observances; A.L. Boy's State Program; A.L. baseball teams; flag education and flag donations; middle and high school awards; Cub Pack No. 201, B.S.A.; Main Street flag display for holidays; Arbor Day program; State Police Youth Week; and several Post activities which are open to the public.

A strong and active membership is necessary to continue these services and therefore, the membership chairman urges all veterans to consider joining the Post. The Chairman's telephone number is 860-623-5704. Members assisting the chairman in the drive are James D'Amato at 860-202-8487 and Pierette Pellitier at 860-418-9803. Any veteran interested in joining the Post is requested to contact any one of the members named above.

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Source : http://www.courant.com/community/windsor-locks/hc-wl-0118-windsorlocks-20180116-story.html

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