LYNN — Families struggling with utility bills are in for good news, thanks to the collaboration of a number of local and state agencies.
Lynn Economic Opportunity and the Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Development were awarded Thursday with a total of $35,000 from United Way as part of a grant distribution to help provide families with utilities assistance.
Charles J. Gaeta, executive director of the Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Development (LHAND), said he was pleased to work alongside United Way and help support low-income families in Lynn.
“These funds are extremely helpful and they are flexible and can assist where other funds may be more restricted,” Gaeta said. “United Way has been dedicated to assisting community members in Lynn.”
Gaeta said the funding is crucial for families who have difficulty supporting their utilities and provides more availability for said families.
A representative from Lynn Economic Opportunity (LEO) said the funds will help provide home energy assistance to income-eligible households in Lynn, Lynnfield, Nahant, Saugus, Swampscott, and Wakefield.
United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley was awarded a $250,000 grant from the National Grid Foundation to provide emergency financial assistance to local families in need. This financial assistance comes as households continue to grapple with economic strain resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the world braces for impacts on energy supply due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Additionally, the money will go to households that have faced difficulties from multiple winter storms, which have affected communities throughout the months of January and February.
“We are experiencing yet another winter disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and United Way is committed to supporting families across our region, particularly our most vulnerable households, in every way we can,” said Bob Giannino, president and CEO at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “We are grateful to the National Grid Foundation for their continued support year after year, and we are proud to partner with community-based organizations to ensure this emergency assistance goes directly to families most in need this winter.”
In addition to LHAND and LEO, funds ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 each were awarded from the National Grid Foundation to Catholic Charities of Boston, Community Action Inc., Community Teamwork, East Boston Social Center, Greater Lawrence Community Action, Lawrence CommunityWorks, The Neighborhood Developers, Quincy Community Action Program Inc., South Boston Neighborhood House, South Shore Stars and Urban Edge Housing Corporation.
One hundred percent of the funds are designated for direct distribution to families in need of fuel assistance. Last year, funding from the National Grid Foundation provided fuel assistance averaging $341 to 732 households in the communities served by these partner agencies.