vol. 32 // November 2022
One small change, like an unexpected increase in monthly utility payments, can set off a ripple effect that overwhelms a family.
Last week our program manager got a call from a bookseller that came home to the unwelcome news that their home’s heat and lights would be shut off due to money owed.
They had known that the monthly budget amount had been raised a few months ago. But they couldn’t afford the new monthly amount and had continued sending in their previously budgeted payment on time each month.
They had a plan, they explained. They would catch up on the balance when their hours increased at work for holiday preparation, but when those increased hours came the additional money was needed for the weekly groceries.
When their next pay came, they needed the money for a dental bill not covered by insurance. And the ‘extra’ in their next paycheck went to replace the brakes in their car. The dental and car bills were paid with help from family, even though money was tight everywhere.
So, they kept paying the old budget amount on their utilities and planned to catch up eventually, while actually slipping further and further behind each month.
Now, just as the weather is dropping below freezing, just before the holidays, before they have the money they need to catch up; they have two weeks to pay all that is due or their electricity and gas will be shut off, which would mean hundreds of dollars of reconnection fees added to the past due balance to get them turned on again.
There’s no room in an already overstretched budget to ‘kick the can down the road’ again.
They can’t go to their families for help again. They need help now. They need a safety net.
They found YOU.
Thanks to you they were able to call Binc, the safety net for the bookstore and comic shop community. Thanks to you their heat and electricity are uninterrupted, and their family has a warm and safe home.
Thank you for your compassionate giving; your donations change lives every day.
Quick Facts from the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA)
● Electricity prices have jumped 15.8% within the past 12 months.
● Families will pay an average of 17.2% more to heat their homes this winter.
● Families that heat using natural gas will have an increase closer to 34%
● More than 20 million families, about one in six American families, are behind on their utility bills going into this winter.
Confidentiality is a core component of any assistance Binc provides. Some events may have been compressed and details might be included from another story to protect the confidentiality and privacy of all those who receive assistance from Binc. Quotes may be edited for length, clarity and to help preserve confidentiality.