Salvation Army running out of funds to help families will soarin - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Salvation Army running out of funds to help families will soaring utilities

Posted: Updated:
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - As the temperatures have gone up, so have the number of people in Cleopatra Johnson’s household.

"Anybody come to me, I'm not gonna say no. We just try to make the best of it and pull through it together as a family," said Johnson.

But the burst of roommates of mostly children from other families comes with a price tag of an electric bill of nearly $500.

"This month it doubled well tripled on me so I had to go get resources to help,” said Johnson.

Johnson is just one of many families needing help in a tight situation.

Major Al Newsome says on average the Salvation Army pays between $100 and $150 for each family to keep their electricity on, but with their limited budget he says they can only help a fraction of the families.

"For the folks that are coming in to receive help with the electric bill we turn about 300 people away a month because we just don't have the resources to help them," said Newsome. "They're coming in faster than the resources are coming in."

He says contrary to popular belief they aren't seeing the same people month after month either. 

Many of the ones that are coming in are elderly, taking care of their grandkids.

"Grandparents are on fixed incomes, so what we see a lot of it the grandparents coming in to keep the electricity going and food on the table for the kids," said Newsome.

They hope they can continue to help families, like the Johnson's.

"They are my true blessing because if they hadn't helped me I don't know where I would have gotten it from," said Johnson.

To learn how you can help the Salvation Army, click here.

Powered by Frankly