Winter Crisis Program Continues

posted 2/10/20 -- Winter heating assistance for residents who need help paying for heat or who have had their heat turned off will be available through March 31, 2020, at Lorain County Community Action Agency’s four locations, online and by mail.

To be eligible for help, residents must live at or below 175% of the federal poverty line. Residents who have received a disconnect notice are especially urged to call the HEAP hotline at 1-855-806-9620 or go online at to make an appointment.

The automated line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make appointments at LCCAA’s four offices. Utility companies will hold your disconnect if you have made an appointment to determine your eligibility. However, your appointment must be no less than 48 hours before your disconnect is scheduled and you must keep your appointment to maintain that hold on your account. Rescheduling removes the hold and you may lose service.

If you apply by mail or online, your application will be directed to LCCAA by the State of Ohio. LCCAA HEAP staff processed 267 applications directed from the state in 24 business days in January, according to Darnella Higginbotham, Emergency Services Coordinator. Applying by mail or online is not recommended for those in disconnect status.

“HEAP staff has managed to process the high volume of clients and the applications coming in from the state queue,” Higginbotham said. “For the month of January, our agency has processed 634 households who received monetary help with their utilities. We were busy serving our mission this month!”

Since the program began Nov. 1, 2019, a total of more than 1,600 people have been helped, Higginbotham added.

LCCAA has four locations where residents can receive help. The Lorain office at 936 Broadway Ave. sees walk-ins Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are available all day long as well.

The Elyria office at Ohio Means Jobs Lorain County, 42495 North Ridge Road, Elyria, is available by appointment only on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Wellington Office sees walk-ins only in the morning and appointments in the afternoon. The office at 115 Willard Memorial Square is only open on Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The North Ridgeville Office is located on the campus of Lorain County Community College at 32121 Lorain Road, North Ridgeville. It is open on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with walk-ins seen in the morning and appointments in the afternoon.

All sites are closed for lunch daily from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. You must be seated with an advocate within 45 minutes of closing to be seen.

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 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.