March 2018 Client Story

During the month of March 2018, START partnered with several community based organizations to connect a single mother of 4 with help towards a significantly high past due utility bill. While relying on child support payments to cover the cost of her monthly utility bills, this single mother was unable to provide the full amount owed to the local utility company over the cold winter months due to a reduction in payments received. While understanding that her heat and water could be disconnected within the upcoming month she reached out to START for support and resources to help her pay towards the amount owed. START was able to connect her to the Emergency Assistance Grant which is offered through the Dane County Job Center for families with minor children. In addition to being connected to this grant opportunity START advocated for her through communication with Energy Assistance who would be able to match any amounts paid to the utility company. She continued to meet with these programs separately while providing them with extensive history of her bills paid and income to date including her reasoning for an inability to pay. She was then partnered with Joining Forces for Families in hopes to receive dual case management to better support her in budgeting and maintaining stability going forward. START was able to connect with the local utility company in order to prevent a disconnection on the date scheduled and through STARTS advocating, she was able to receive an extension while working hard towards paying off the amount owed. Her 4 children, 2 who are under the age of 5 will be able to remain warm in their homes without the risk of losing heat during the cold weather ahead.