Monday 1 June, 2020
Something you might not know about Saint Louise House.
For more than ten years, Saint Louise House has partnered with Austin Energy’s Financial Support Plus 1 Program to distribute emergency utility assistance to customers facing temporary financial hardship and having trouble paying their utility bills. These funds are more important now than ever in helping families maintain stability and stay together.
Through this partnership, we support Saint Louise House families as well as families throughout the community in accessing utility assistance. Because the ability to open an Austin Energy account is a requirement for living at Saint Louise House, we often use this assistance to help families on our waiting list qualify for our program. In addition, we have traditionally partnered with St. Austin Catholic Church to use their location to meet applicants for utility assistance from the community twice a month.
Saint Louise House distributes these funds using the same principles that guide our supportive housing program, with an emphasis on low barriers to entry. Unlike many Austin Energy Plus 1 partner agencies, we do not require recipients to be a Saint Louise House client to receive funds and we do not restrict participation to specific zip codes.
How We’re Helping Now
With the onset of COVID-19, our community experienced a huge increase in need for utility assistance. At the same time, in accordance with public health and safety measures, we had to discontinue our in-person outreach events for distributing assistance.
The Saint Louise House team was deeply committed to doing everything they could to meet the increased need. They developed a new process and new guidelines so that we could continue to distribute utility assistance remotely. Austin Energy responded by increasing the amount of funds we could distribute. In the first week of our new approach, we pledged almost $10,000 to customers requesting assistance with their Austin Energy bills! This assistance is deeply needed and appreciated, as we have heard from so many members of our community.
If you need utility assistance, contact us at 512-297-2129.
Learn more about Austin Energy’s Financial Support Plus 1 Program here.