Sunday, June 8, 2008

Metro assistance agency short on funds

Posted on WKRN (Channel 2) As we head into the warm summer months, the Metro Action Commission is a frequent source of relief for families in need. But this year, the agency is dealing with a tighter budget than usual. Last year Metro Action received $3.4-million to help assist families with energy costs. This year that number was cut to $1.8-million. Those funds have been depleted since January -- and families are in need of assistance now more than ever. Dub Campbell says he and his wife are barely getting by. He had to stop working because of a medical condition and his wife recently lost her jobs. He said, "We're in kind of a tailspin situation and frankly I don't know how we're going to pull out of it." He's dreading the hot summer months and the energy costs that are sure to come with them. Normally the couple waits until July to begin cooling their home. Lisa Gallon with the Metro Action Commission says need for assistance is on the rise, but there isn't enough money to go around. According to Gallon, "We have been out of funding for quite some time with our energy assistance program." Campbell receives disability pay and isn't eligible for government assistance. Recently, he's had to turn to loved ones for help. He said, "My sister in Texas, she's sent us a few bucks here and there. Never had to do that before. The last year has been especially rough." The Metro Action Commission can accept new applications for assistance starting July 1st.

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