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Annual Report 2023

Emergency Assistance +

Personal Development

Step Forward’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) stands as a vital lifeline for individuals and families facing the daunting challenge of maintaining essential utilities in the face of rising economic pressures.  With six distinct program under the HEAP umbrella, including the Low-Income Water Assistance Program, the Summer Cooling Program, the Winter Crisis Program, and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan, HEAP offers a comprehensive suite of support to ensure that no one has to face the burden of utility costs alone.

In 2023, HEAP witnessed an unprecedented surge in demand, receiving a record number of applications and serving a record number of clients. This surge in demand reflects the harsh economic realities many are facing, with the rising prices of essentials, including utilities, placing an increasing strain on households across the community. Many who had never before found themselves in need of assistance were suddenly grappling with financial hardships, highlighting the widespread impact of these economic challenges.

Amidst the challenging landscape, Step Forward’s Home Energy Assistance Program helps alleviate the financial burden on thousands of families, ensuring that they continue to access essential services without sacrificing other basic needs.

In 2023, HEAP received

37,598

37,598

inquiries and phone calls from people asking for utility assistance

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In 2023, HEAP received 

23,930

23,930

applications from people interested in utility programs

Air Conditioner

In 2023, Step Forward's Home Energy Assistance Program distributed more than

$

2.9

million

in utility assistance to residents in Cuyahoga County

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