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Step Forward Prepares for HEAP Winter Crisis Program to End

Step Forward, formerly the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland, is preparing for the end of the HEAP Winter Crisis Program on March 31.

Step Forward’s Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program helps income-eligible Greater Cleveland residents that are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected, or have less than a 25 percent supply of bulk fuel in their tank maintain their utility service. This is a one-time benefit and is to be used in emergency situations when you are faced with disconnection.

To schedule an appointment call (216) 350-8008 or head to a computer or smartphone

and visit Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Scheduled customers must have all necessary paperwork in-hand to receive assistance at the time of appointment.

For those whose utility is not in emergency status, there are other ways to receive assistance. The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps residents at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines pay their heating bills. Applied directly to the customer’s utility or bulk fuel bill, the benefit can help manage heating costs. This is not an emergency program and will not prevent the disconnection of utility services. Visit to apply online or to download a copy of the application.

Step Forward helps people find hope, believe in their future and take steps to make it a reality. As the State’s designated anti-poverty agency for Cuyahoga County, Step Forward is tasked and trusted to lead the fight on the ground against poverty in our community. The nonprofit organization helps low-income individuals and families address immediate needs and build long-term skills to transform their lives through early childhood education programs, adult skills training and other support. Programs include Early Head Start (birth to three), Head Start (three-five years of age); personal development programs to enhance life skills, manage anger or get on track with personal goals; career planning and job training to enable people to learn or enhance skills, earn certifications or improve readiness to pursue and win better job opportunities. Step Forward also delivers the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). For more information, visit

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