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Heating assistance program starts Nov. 1
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Ninth District Opportunity program assistant Stephanie Mitchell, left, and community resource coordinator Shanna Cotton, right, will be helping the elderly and homebound apply for heating assistance at their Oak Street office. Appointments can be booked starting Nov. 1. Community resource coordinator Christy Cox will also be helping people apply for assistance. - photo by Clark Leonard

Ninth District Opportunity’s annual heating assistance program will kick off Nov. 1, when applicants can begin making reservations at 12:01 a.m.

Residents in a 20-county region who are 65 and older or homebound due to health reasons are the first who will be able to apply for assistance when it starts at the beginning of next month. Hall, Dawson, Lumpkin, Forsyth, White, Habersham and Jackson are among the counties where residents can receive help. Eligibility is based on the income of all who live in the home, and the eligible households have to be responsible for their home heating costs.

If their income level qualifies them for assistance, applicants would receive either $310 or $350 in a one-time payment from the Georgia Department of Human Services to their home energy supplier on their behalf, said NDO’s Shanna Cotton.

Heating assistance program

Starts: Nov. 1 for those 65 and older, Dec. 1 for general public

Make appointment by: Calling 855-636-3108 or going to starting Nov. 1

Appointment location: Ninth District Opportunity, 615 Oak St., Suite C, Gainesville

Assistance available for eligible households: $310 or $350 one-time payment to home energy supplier on applicant’s behalf

The group said appointments to apply for the assistance can be made by calling 855-636-3108 or going to All appointments for Hall County residents will be at NDO’s office at 615 Oak St., Suite C, in Gainesville. Cotton said if those needing an appointment have access to internet or a family member who can book the appointment online for them, it’s “100 percent easier online” than calling to make the appointment.

Appointments cannot be scheduled before the Nov. 1 opening of the program. NDO is asking for no walk-ins and said appointments will be scheduled until all funds are used up.

A major development the group wants those seeking aid to be aware of is the need to bring all documentation because NDO can no longer obtain the information for applicants.

Depending on the amount of funds available, the program will open to the general public Dec. 1.

The items needed for heating assistance applicants at their appointments are:

  • Verification of age for everyone in the home,

  • Verification of all household income received in the past 30 days (check stubs, public assistance checks, unemployment checks, etc.),

  • Verification of Social Security numbers for everyone in the home,

  • Verification of citizenship (driver’s license, state ID, etc.)

  • And the most recent heating source or electric bill.

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