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Group To Call For End To Utility Shutoffs

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A group of Detroiters upset with utility shutoffs plans to call on DTE to halt the practice during winter months. 

Amnesty International and other groups, marking International Human Rights Day, are expected to gather outside DTE headquarters in downtown Detroit Friday afternoon.  They want the energy company to roll out more energy efficiency programs.

The protest comes the same day DTE Energy and THAW, The Heat and Warmth Fund, kicks off a “Weekend of Giving,” to raise $1 million for local residents who are struggling to pay their utility bills.    

“Detroiters have always demonstrated a generosity beyond compare when it comes to helping others,” said Joyce Hayes Giles, DTE Energy’s senior vice president of customer service, in a statement outlining events.  “We know they will step forward and join DTE Energy and THAW in our efforts to help residents stay safe and warm this winter.”   

The “Weekend of Giving” begins Friday evening with THAW’s annual “Night of Warm Hearts” fundraiser at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel.  

On Saturday there is a gospel concert fundraiser titled “Hallelujah for Heat.”  The concert will feature contemporary vocalist Deitrick Haddon and the Voices of Unity.  Other concert highlights will include special guest Tramaine Hawkins, Detroit’s own Charles Martin, and the DSA Choir. 

The concert will be at Second Ebenezer Baptist Church located on Dequindre Road in Detroit.

Monday is DTE Energy’s Customer Assistance Day at Cobo Hall.  Every dollar raised during the weekend will be distributed to customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills and maintain their service.  Human services, wellness, and credit and housing agencies will join DTE Energy and THAW in providing much needed assistance.  Qualified low income customers are urged to pre-register by calling (877) 245-7084.

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