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Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm Meets with Legislators in Lansing on February 19 to Raise Awareness of the Importance of Energy Assistance

DETROIT, Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm (CTKMW) will be meeting with state lawmakers on Wednesday, February 19, at the state capitol in Lansing to raise awareness about the energy assistance needs of Michigan's low-income households. 

This event coincides with Keep Michigan Warm Month. Earlier this month, Governor Rick Snyder issued a formal proclamation designating February 2014 as Keep Michigan Warm Month. As his proclamation says, "Heat is not a luxury, but a necessity during Michigan's cold winter months, and no one should have to choose between heating their home and feeding their family."

The state's harsh winter, struggling economy, and rising energy costs contribute to the financial difficulties low-income households face when it comes to staying safely warm during the winter months. About 625,000 Michigan households received home heating assistance in 2013, and nearly 1.2 million were eligible. 

"We will be meeting with legislators on February 19 to provide them with the most current data regarding Michigan's low-income population and energy assistance availability," explains Shaun Taft, Chairperson of the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm. "We're confident that these lawmakers will be even more supportive of Michigan's energy assistance programs after they've had the opportunity to learn more about the realities our most vulnerable citizens are facing."

Programs will be held on the capitol grounds, with a Senate mini-walk and House mini-walk kicking off at 11 AM and Noon, respectively.  During the programs, the Coalition will be honoring leaders for their efforts and work to support energy assistance in the state.  The 2014 Legislative Leader Award recipients include Senator Mike Nofs, Senator Bruce Caswell, and Representative Aric Nesbitt.  The 2014 Member Leader Award recipient is Sharon Theroux, immediate past co-chair of the Coalition, who is a program director with the Michigan Community Action Agency Association. 

The Coalition urges everyone to take the following steps this winter:

1)  If you are in need of energy assistance, contact your utility immediately and seek out agency assistance in your area.

2)  If you are using alternative sources of energy, such as space heaters or generators, please do so cautiously, and only upon following the directions for such energy sources.

3)  If you are in a position to give to support energy assistance, consider donating to a local human services agency in your area that provides direct energy assistance.

4)  Consider joining the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm by signing up at www.coalitiontokeepmichiganwarm.com to receive regular updates about energy assistance throughout the year.

The event at the state capitol is only one way in which the Coalition works with state lawmakers to improve the delivery of energy assistance. Since 1987, the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm has worked to improve the availability of financial and human resources to meet the energy assistance needs of Michigan's low-income households.  The members perform this mission through the exchange of information, developing new ideas, public education, and advocacy.


SOURCE Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm

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