Struggling To Stay Warm: THAW Helping People Pay Heating Bills In Frigid Weather

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A snowy Royal Oak street. (credit: Christy Strawser/CBS Detroit)

A snowy Royal Oak street. (credit: Christy Strawser/CBS Detroit)

DETROIT (WWJ) – The phone lines at The Heat and Warmth Fund are ringing off the hook with people looking for help with high heating bills in record low, sub-zero temperatures.

Lisa Jones, the director of customer advocacy  at THAW, said that they’ve been fielding hundreds of calls in the last two days from local people who are unable to pay their utility bills and are struggling not to freeze in the polar vortex.

“That they have small children; that they may have an elderly parent in the home. It’s just a variety of stories that I’m hearing,” she said.

Jones says that if you have had your power turned off, your safety is in jeopardy.

“It’s too dangerous to stay inside of your house if you don’t have heat,” Jones said. “Go to a warming center, a family or friend’s house, a shelter — anything, but do not stay in your home. Do not stay there.”

Jones advises people not to use alternative heating methods such as the stove or oven, which can be dangerous.

She says Metro Detroiters in need do not need to have received a shutoff notice to qualify for help from THAW. The number to call is 1-800-866-8426.  [Learn more about THAW, HERE].


Heat and lights during a Michigan winter are a necessity, not a luxury.  To help those facing a crisis, WWJ Newsradio 950 and THAW are partnering for the annual Winter Survival Radiation on Friday, Feb. 7. Your pledge to THAW will warm a heart and a home. [Get complete radiothon information, HERE].

MORE: Temperatures Drop To Record Lows In Michigan

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