The Denver County Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) officially kicked off the season today by hosting a Heating Fair at Denver Human Services. LEAP is a program committed to helping residents Nov. 1 – April 30.
Denver County LEAP staff were on hand to help customers apply for heating assistance and to provide emergency assistance to those with shut-off notices. People in need of assistance were also instructed on how to more efficiently and safely heat their homes by watching weatherization demonstrations. Staff members with Veterans Green Jobs, an agency that offers home weatherization services, were on hand to demonstrate the importance of weatherizing your home. “Many people overlook many simple efficiency upgrades that can considerably improve the stability of your home,” one staff person said.
Nick, a Denver native, had been homeless for ten years prior to 2012. He decided to apply for LEAP for one simple reason – his family. A father of nine children and in a new home, Nick and his wife struggle to keep their bills paid. “I need to be able to provide for my family, but with bills through the roof it’s hard to do. LEAP is going to save us this year,” he said.
Karin Blatter, Denver LEAP administrator, helped families fill out their applications during the fair. She commented “The LEAP Heating Fair was a great way to help connect Denver residents in need with community resources and to provide valuable home heating conservation tips to reduce utility bills.”
LEAP determines eligibility based on the number of people living in a home and a household’s gross monthly income, which is set at 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. For a family of four, monthly income before taxes must be at or less than $2,881 to be considered for the program. Additionally, applicants must be legal residents and pay heat costs to an energy company or as part of rent.
To request an application, call 1.866.HEAT-HELP (432-8432) or download it at www.denvergov.org/LEAP. Once the application is completed, Denver residents can mail, fax or drop off their application. People that live in other counties should contact their local county human services department for information.
Last year, nearly 13,000 people in Denver and more than 100,000 residents across the State of Colorado qualified for LEAP.