Local Community Agency Prepares for Cold Front by Helping Fa

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EDINBURG – Rio Grande Valley families enter the Hidalgo County Community Service Agency in triple digits. They are seeking help to pay their utility bills.

"You’re at the point right now that you can’t afford to a bill," said Bertha Garza.

On Tuesday, Garza asked for utility assistance for the first time. She is a single mother and most of her time is spent looking after her three children.

"I cannot even work because my children need help so I have to be aware of everything they’re doing," said Garza.

The agency's director Jaime Longoria said they have the right resources to help families in need.

"For vulnerable families, in some cases we can assist with heating, some type of heating equipment. For regular folks that come in and apply with us, we still have fund available to help pay their utility bills," said Longoria.

He explained the agency visits with 40 to 50 new people every day. Longoria also said many families are not ready for cooler temperatures.

"Because many of the homes are set up for warm weather we find a lot of homes are poorly insulated. They’re not what we call weatherized. So when we do get a cold snap like this it's a burden on folks," said Longoria.

Garza explained she needs to get ready.

"I didn't expect this cold front. My daughter was just telling me there's a cold front coming. I said really? So, I didn't know that. So yeah, I may be worried about it," said Garza.

Longoria said they have around $300,000 to spend.

He explained, with those funds, the agency can help up to 50 people for the month of December.


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