Missouri extends energy assistance application deadline

JOPLIN, Mo. – Missouri residents will get an extra month to apply for the Economic Security Corporation’s (ESC) Energy Assistance Program. Governor Mike Parson extended he deadline to May 31 and expanded income eligibility for the program.

The income guidelines have increased to 60% State Median Income (SMI) guidelines. To be eligible residents must:

  • Be responsible for paying home heating costs
  • Have $3,000 or less in bank accounts, retirement accounts, or investments
  • All household members must be a U.S. citizen or legally admitted for permanent residence
  • Meet 60% SMI guidelines

Residents of Barton, Jasper, Newton and McDonald Counties can find information on getting assistance at the ESC’s utility assistance page. Applications can be submitted online, by email, in-person at the ESC’s Central Office, or by mail.


Via Christi dispatches employees to help struggling hospitals

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg is lending a few helping hands to medical workers and patients in Michigan.

14 nurses and doctors of Via Christi will work in ICUs and inpatient departments across Michigan.

“We have over 150 ministries across the nation,” said Vice President of Operations and Nursing Tawny Sandifer. “So when one of our markets such as Michigan raises the call for help because of their patient care that they need to provide during this pandemic, we answer.”

In Michigan, hospitalizations among people in their 50s have increased 700% since late February, outpacing all other age groups.


New Spire program to help customers with rent, utility bills

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Spire Missouri offers rent and utility bill help for residential customers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) program allows renters across Missouri assistance with past-due rent and utility bills dating back to April 2020 and up to three months of future rent and energy expenses.

Missouri’s Housing Development Commission administers the SAFHR program.

Customers can apply through the SAFHR program or through similar programs throughout the state to access relief. The federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program and the U.S. Department of Treasury fund these programs.

(Related: Missouri rental assistanceKansas statewide rental, utility assistance for families affected by COVID-19)

“With so many people experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic, help with rental and utility expenses is critical to our customers and communities,” said Scott Carter, president of Spire Missouri. “Fortunately, there are great resources available through the State Assistance for Housing Relief program to assist people with past-due bills when they need it most.”


To qualify for SAFHR, an individual must currently live in a residential rental property in Missouri and have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income (based on the most recent 30 days or the 2020 annual income). In addition, a tenant must be receiving unemployment benefits or have experienced a reduction in household income and incurred significant costs or financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Applications for assistance are available now through Sept. 30, 2021. To learn more about the SAFHR program and how to apply, visit https://spireenergy.com/missouri-rental-assistance.

About Spire

Spire is a natural-gas utilities company. They serve 1.7 million homes and businesses in Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri. You can learn more at SpireEnergy.com.


Kansas statewide rental, utility assistance for families affected by COVID-19

TOPEKA, Kan. (March 16, 2021) – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announces rent, utility and internet assistance for residents impacted by COVID-19.

The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) launched the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program yesterday, March 15, 2021. Today, Governor Kelly spoke more about the program.

“Keeping Kansans in their homes and businesses – and ensuring they have access to the high-speed internet needed for telehealth, telework, and virtual school – has been a top priority for my administration since day one,” Governor Kelly said. “This program will be critical in ensuring Kansans can stay secure in their homes, stay warm, and maintain access to the internet.”

The program offers tenants up to 12 months of assistance with the following:

  • Current or past due rent
  • Past due utility, including electric, gas, water, sewer, trash removal, and home energy services
  • Past due internet bills

Renters can apply for assistance with all, some, or any one of the services offered.

Both tenant and landlord must apply online. If the applicant meets the eligibility criteria, KHRC will make payments on the tenant’s behalf directly to the landlord or service provider(s).

Last year KHRC administered the Kansas Eviction Prevention Program (KEPP), a nearly $20 million rental assistance initiative to support Kansans financially impacted by COVID. In about 60 days, more than 10,000 tenants and more than 4,000 landlords applied for the program.

“Home has always been a place of shelter, but during the pandemic it’s become so much more,” Ryan Vincent, KHRC’s Executive Director, said. “The outpouring of interest we saw in the KEPP program demonstrated the tremendous need COVID has created across our state. We’re so pleased to offer not just rent, but also utility and internet assistance so we can keep Kansans safely housed and connected when they need it most.”

The KERA program will initially serve Kansans across the state, except those living within the Wichita city limits. Wichita residents may apply for assistance through the Wichita Emergency Rental Assistance Program (WERAP).

To learn more and apply for KERA assistance, visit the KHRC website.

About KHRC:

Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) is a self-supporting, nonprofit, public corporation committed to helping Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. KHRC serves as the state’s housing finance agency (HFA), administering essential housing and community programs to serve Kansans.


Columbus asking public’s help in finding leaks

COLUMBUS, Kan. – The City of Columbus, Kansas is asking for the public’s help in finding a major leak.

Officials say the city is going through its water supply very quickly which is an indication of one or more leaks. They ask residents walk the perimeter around their property and check crawl spaces/basements to make sure they are not accumulating water anywhere.

If you are driving through town and see any large amounts of water, bubbling or running water in ditches those could be indications of a leak. If you find one, they ask you call (620) 762-1014 to report it.