By Matt Guyette
Cheshire County assistance programs.
Financial assistance from your town
The various towns and cities in Cheshire County New Hampshire offer assistance to those who qualify. Individuals and families may get help with paying rent, utilities, heating expenses, free food and certain prescription medications. In addition, the towns are a great place to stop by to get referrals to local charities and non-profits, and to gain access to various government assistance programs. All towns are required to provide these resources to residents per New Hampshire state laws. Keene New Hampshire (603) 357-9809. Roxbury and Surry also offer aid. Phone (603) 352-3075
Cheshire Community Action Agency – Southwestern Community Services, Inc.
|Electric Bill Assistance Program - This option provides qualifying PSNH customers with a discount on their monthly electric and utility bills.
Fuel Assistance Program - This is a resource that provides financial assistance for paying heating bills and utility expenses to handicapped, elderly, and low-income residents.
Rent help and eviction prevention - This particular assistance program offers eviction prevention services, including landlord/tenant mediation, budget counseling, one-time financial supports, and referrals to other resources and non-profits.
Neighbor Helping Neighbor Program - This is an energy assistance program that provides funds and emergency help for paying utility bills as well as energy assistance (electric or natural gas) to needy families and individuals who are experiencing some type of financial hardships, if the family has a disconnection pending, and if the family is ineligible for help from the Fuel Assistance Program.
Food Pantry - Can help people provide food for their family.
Senior Energy Assistance Program, which is known as SEAS, provides emergency energy bill assistance, grants, and funds in an amount of up to $270 per elderly household for individuals and families.
Call the Keene NH based Southwestern Community Services, Inc. at (603) 352-7512. While the above list touches upon many of their programs, other resources are available as well. Read more Southwestern Community Services (SCS) programs.
Consumer Credit Counseling is a non-profit that helps people through difficult times. Services offered include budget counseling, foreclosure prevention, and debt management programs. Call the Keene New Hampshire agency at (800) 327-6778. Find other debt help programs.
Emergency help for food, information, and paying bills
The Keene Salvation Army may be able to help people facing a crisis. The phone number is (603) 352-0607. Among the programs and services offered include a food pantry, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and holiday meals and gifts, and they rarely may have funds for paying bills, or can direct people to agencies that can help with bills, rent, and more. For example, find programs that offer rent help.
This time of year, many of us are busy decorating and planning for the holidays. In doing so, we often overlook preparing our homes for the cold weather. Getting your home ready for the winter season can make a drastic difference in your utility bill. To help, here are some tips for winterizing your New England home from The Boston Globe which we recommend.
The first very simple step you can take is to make sure all of your windows are securely locked. Of course, locked windows are important to ensure the safety of your home, but they also help to prevent any drafts. Many homeowners do not realize that unlocked windows usually leave a 2 millimeter opening at the top, which is plenty of space for cold air to whisk in.
Just as windows may allow a lot of cold air in, your doors are probably doing the same. If your door jiggles or you feel a draft walking by entrance ways, you may want to invest in a door sweep. Door sweeps are long metal or rubber extensions attached to the door to close the gap between the edge of the door and the flooring. A quick way to test your doors is to close a dollar bill in them and try to pull it out. If it slips out with ease, you know you are losing money through that door. Invest in stick-on rubber weather stripping if that is the case.
Lastly, everyone loves to have their fireplace blazing as much as possible in the wintertime, but did you know that it could be costing you a lot more money than you ever thought? Be sure to close the flue in your fireplace when it is not in use. Many people just do not even think of it, and keep it open year round. Doing this leaves a huge tunnel open for outside air to flow into your home.
We wish you a warm and cozy winter at your New England home. For more inspiration, tips and ideas on home design in greater Boston, be sure to like David Sharff Architect on Facebook!
Halloween Safety Tips for Grown-ups
Parents of trick-or-treating kids can get so caught up in the fun themselves that they might forget some simple safety ideas that could keep everyone out of trouble. Having a fun and safe Halloween will make it all worth-while!
Kids love Halloween! They get to dress up and get free candy! What a perfect holiday! Give your kids some precious Halloween memories that they’ll have for life.
If you take your kids to a sponsored event, like a safe Halloween thrown by your church or community center, make sure to keep an eye on them at all times. Even though it seems less dangerous, you are still in a strange environment full of people that you don’t know. All it takes is a minute with your back turned to find your child gone.
Cell phones are everywhere now! Everyone seems to have one, they can be so affordable. Make sure that your child has a pre-programmed cell phone with him/her if they go out on Halloween night! Make sure that all important numbers are already there and ready for use.