R.I. Good Neighbor Energy Fund seeking money to address urgent heating needs

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund, administrated by United Way of Rhode Island Inc., is appealing to the public for donations to help address an increased need for heating assistance for low-income households.

The fund says it is looking to raise $400,000 this year to assist 750 families in need of heating assistance. Assistance grants to individual households are determined by fuel type and need, the fund says, and can provide up to $825 per heating season.

“With us in the middle of winter it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more Rhode Islanders seeking help to heat their homes as household budgets are stretched to their limit,” United Way CEO and President Cortney Nicolato said in a statement. “The Good Neighbor Energy Fund is a tremendous resource for those who need it most and I thank everyone who helps to make it possible through their kindness and generosity – it is the epitome of Rhode Islanders helping Rhode Islanders.”

Those wishing to donate can text “WARM” to 91999 or visit the fund’s website. Checks can also be mailed to the United Way at 50 Valley St. in Providence.

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Eligibility for the fund is based on total household income not exceeding 300% of the federal poverty level. A household of four must have a $90,000 maximum income to be eligible, or a family of six can’t exceed $120,840 in income, according to the fund.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.