THAW heating assistance available for those in need this winter

When the temperatures drop outside most Michiganders want to turn the thermostat up.. but not everyone can afford to do so.

But help is available.

"Our Covid emergency rental assistance not only did it assist with rent but it also with them being down there gas and electric bills," said Tamara Johnson, DTE.

On Tuesday several state and local programs were highlighted so residents know were to go for help.

"We have an average of over 27,000 customers in need, per year, that are enrolled in our low-income, self-sufficiency programs," Johnson added.

But programs are not just for those with limited finances.

"A number of disconnect protection programs (are available for) for our elderly customers with medical conditions and active duty military and veterans," Johnson said.

DTE also provides assistance to other agencies that work to keep people’s homes heated.

"We donated more than $60 million to the community agencies including THAW, United Way, and others, over the past five years," Johnson said.

Officials at THAW says they are grateful to put the funding from DTE Energy to good work.

"We are excited to be here and share the services that we have here at THAW," Christine Beatty said.

Officials at THAW make it clear their services are not just for low-income Michiganders.

"Bridging the gap for our little higher-income customers, so we attempt to assist every customer that we can, who comes through the door," Beatty said.

The State of Michigan through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is also helping to keep the heat on, in homes.

"You can receive up to $850 on your natural gas bill or on your non-heat electric service," said Nicole Denison-Sogbaka, MDHHS. "This credit is designed to aid low income, deaf, people with disabilities, or blind individuals, and disabled veterans."

If you need more information on services call the 211 helpline which provides referrals to programs to assist with utility assistance and much more.

"Please don’t hesitate to call 211 our staff is on standby and ready to assist in any type of situation," Eric Davis, United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

For more information online, go to