Shepherd’s Crossing offers assistance to those impacted by utility payments with the Federal LIEAP Program

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LIEAP, or Low Income Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded program for those with low income, offering them support with their Evergy and/or Kansas Gas payments. https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/1557

Director of Client Services, Warren Holmes said this program has been underreported and many people didn’t even know about the program. For this reason, his organization began offering assistance with the process and filling out the application, as “it’s not hard, it’s just a little bit confusing for some people.”

“As they come in, we’ll set up appointments for them, and then we will go through their preparation and then add to what they need to do to complete it,” Holmes said. “And then we can get it to the Department of Children & Families here in town.”

Alan Lee Center
Courtesy of Konza United Way

Executive Director Beth Klug of Shepherd’s Crossing indicates Evergy, through this program, has helped more than 34,000 families over the course of last year, with on average between $600 – $900.

“We increased the amount of assistance we gave by over $100,000. So we’ve really been able to help individuals and families in our community,” Klug said. “And that’s in large part to the grants, and we received additional COVID funding through the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation COVID Relief Fund. So those have been a real blessing to our organization and to the community, as we’ve assisted so many more individuals and families.”

As far as eligibility concerns, Holmes indicates that those interested need to fall within the range of the poverty guidelines, and are based off of maximum gross monthly income and the number of people living in the household.

“For every member of the household, there must be a social security number and birth date. Then they have to know who’s going to be the person who’s responsible,” Holmes said. “Then the household has to be able to prove that they have been paying some of their bill whether it’s for Evergy or for Kansas Gas or even propane, things like that. Lastly, of course there’s a residency requirement if they are citizens or that [they’re] legally in our country to be approved for this this assistance.”

Holmes clarifies these families can split the benefit, between Evergy and part of it to Kansas Gas, but these benefits do not extend to payments like rent or water. Additionally, to receive this benefit their application must be completed and sent to the Department of Children & Families by the 31st of March. These parties may continue paying rent, as shortly after the State of Kansas will begin to contribute.

Those eligible and looking to learn more may call 785-776-1470 or refer to www.shepherdscrossing.info, evergy.com or www.dcf.ks.gov/ for more information

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Bill Bernard

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