Resources to help you keep the lights on

Updated: Jan 25

 Gulf Coast Power recently became Florida Power and Light, which resulted in rate hikes and disconnect notices for many in Northwest Florida. Click here to visit the dashboard and report your rate increase. NOTE: Until FPL removes the limit on how many times one card can be used per month to pay their bills, I can't continue to make payments online this way. [[If you or someone you know needs help keeping the power on, we want to help. If you have received a disconnect notice, send it to us with your account number and service address and we'll keep them from shutting off your power. Email us directly at Info@RebekahJonesCampaign.com. We're not going to ask you intrusive questions, ask you to submit proof of income, or judge you in any way. We just want to help you keep the lights on.]] There are also resources available if you're on a fixed income to help you long-term manage the $1.3 billion rate increase forced on residents over the next two years. HUD offers assistance for low income families through several programs, which you can apply for online here. To see if you qualify, click here. To contact the Florida Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, you can call (850) 717-8469 or 850-717-8450. There are also local offices you can contact in case of emergency if your power has been disconnected. Those numbers are listed below: Regional assistance: Northwest Florida Area Agency on Aging provides assistance with home energy costs for those who are eligible over 60 years of age should the need arise to pay utility bills or repair heating and cooling systems. Call them at (850) 494-7101. Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida provides emergency financial assistance for basic needs including financial, food, prescriptions, housing, and utilities. Call (850) 436-6425 in Pensacola or (850) 244-2825 in Fort Walton Beach. Operation Homefront is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive — not simply struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. They have various assistance programs for veterans and their families. Escambia: Community Action Program Committee: Toll free 1-866-384-4502, or (844) 356-8139. CAPC provides emergency financial assistance for utility bills when in need through their Home Energy Assistance Program. Opening Doors Northwest Florida: Apply online. For assistance, call:850-439-3009. Opening Doors offers utility assistance for those who are at risk of getting their utilities shut off. United Ministries of Pensacola: Apply online, or call 850-433-2333. UM offers help in a financial crisis with past due rent, mortgage, or utility bills. This assistance is contingent upon having a child in the home under the age of 18. Santa Rosa: Tri-County Community Council: (850) 981-0036; Energy assistance is provided in a crisis. Can pay for the cooling and heating needs of qualified applicants. If you do not have energy now, or are faced with disconnection, this can also qualify you. Emergency rental assistance is also offered for Santa Rosa County residents by appointment only. Interfaith Ministries Financial Assistance is based at 4435 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, Florida 32563, call 850-934-8385. Families with a financial hardship and an eviction notice can apply for emergency rental assistance. Other resources offer emergency utility bill payment assistance. Money can pay water, electric, propane, or even gas bills. Family Resources provides financial assistance for utilities. Service is for families with children or elderly over 65. Call 850-626-2054 Okaloosa: Tri-County Community Council: 850-547-4263 For Crestview, call: (850) 306-1134 For Ft. Walton, call: (850) 200-4425 Chautauqua Healthcare Services (COPE) Utility assistance for Walton and Okaloosa County residents. Client must have a utility disconnect notice. Client eligibility for the program will be determined by Chautauqua Healthcare Services and is based on factors such as income and vulnerability. Dial 2-1-1 for more information Walton: Also Tri-County, call: (850) 892-3615 Chautauqua Healthcare Services (COPE) Utility assistance for Walton and Okaloosa County residents. Client must have a utility disconnect notice. Client eligibility for the program will be determined by Chautauqua Healthcare Services and is based on factors such as income and vulnerability. Dial 2-1-1 for more information Matrix Community Outreach Center. Apply online here or call 850-892-1090. Caring and Sharing Of Walton County provides financial support to help with past due rent, utilities, and prescriptions. Clients can receive financial support no more than twice per year, however, requests are evaluated on a case by case basis. Call 850-267-2866.

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While the rest of America moved forward Tuesday, Florida took a giant leap back. Words cannot express how shocked and disappointed we all have been to watch the election unfold in our beautiful state.