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Agency offers heating help

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OKLAHOMA CITY--  An Oklahoma agency is helping families keep warm during the cold winter months.

The freezing temperatures are already being blamed for taking the lives of some Oklahomans.

However, DHS has a "Home Energy Assistance" program for families who might not be able to afford those rising heating bills.

Sometimes those heating costs can be just as monstrous as the winter storms but a federal grant is providing some relief.

Officials say although it is a helping hand, time is running out to apply.

Mark Beutler, spokesperson for the Department of Human Services, said, "We had about $8.5 million allocated to help low income Oklahomans with their heating bills for this month. We still have just a little bit of that left,  it should be probably depleted by early next week. So if folks want to really get out there and talk to their local DHS office, get their application in, they probably need to do that right away."

Applications are being accepted as long as there is still money.

If you already receive any type of DHS assistance, you may already qualify.

However, there are income guidelines for others.
A single person cannot make over $1,024 a month, while a family of two can only make $1,387 or less.

Beutler said, "We do it in the summer for summer cooling. We do it again in December for winter heating assistance and then again, a third time, in March for energy crisis assistance, which is basically to help people who have cut off notices."

If you would like to apply, you can head to any DHS office.

It takes about a week for the process to be complete and applicants must provide an ID, income verification and your most recent heating bill.

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