Winter Crisis Help Now Available

posted 11/9/16 -- Winter heating assistance for residents who need help paying for heat or who have had their heat turned off is now available. To be eligible for help, residents must live at or below 175% of the federal poverty line.

Residents are urged to call the HEAP hotline at 1-855-806-9620 to make an appointment. The automated line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“If you have made an appointment, the utility companies are required to keep your service on,” explained Cindy Hicks, Community Services Specialist.

While scheduling, residents must provide their utility bill account number for the utility company to follow through on the hold.

“We actually only schedule out as far as a utility companies will honor holding service,” Hicks added. “That does result in times where all available slots are booked, especially in the first month of the program. Walk-in appointments offer an alternative.”

LCCAA serves a limited number of walk-ins at both the Lorain and Wellington sites daily. At 401 Broadway in downtown Lorain, walk-in hours are Mondays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Wellington Office at 115 Willard Memorial Square will see walk-ins Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Both sites are closed from 12 to 1 p.m. daily for lunch.

All Ohio residents also have the option of printing and mailing their applications directly to the State of Ohio at HEAP, P.O. Box 1240, Columbus, Ohio 43216. Applications and instructions are available online at

LCCAA’s automated appointment line includes a recorded message describing the documents needed for the appointment. Those needing to do so may also speak to a representative during regular office hours.

The Ohio Development Services Agency provides a toll-free number for general questions about eligibility and obtaining service at (800) 282-0880 during regular business hours (7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) Monday through Friday.

“We want Lorain County residents to understand how to get the help they need,” Hicks said. “We do prioritize reconnections and disconnects in order to restore and maintain heat in homes for our walk-ins. We routinely screen documentation at reception and give a same-day return time for those with longer wait times as efficiency and courtesy measures.”

Last year LCCAA directly helped more than 3,700 clients during the winter crisis period.

The Winter Crisis Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency's Office of Community Assistance.