Just as the City of St. Louis heads into a stretch of extremely hot weather next week, Mayor Lyda Krewson today announced the immediate availability of $3 million in electric and gas utility assistance for residents from the CARES Act through a partnership with Cooldownstlouis.org over the next 18 months.
“We know all too well that St. Louis summers can bring unrelenting heat, which puts a lot of our most vulnerable populations at risk. Add to that now the devastating health and economic effects of COVID-19, and it’s abundantly clear that a lot of people are in need. This assistance will help them stay cool and stay safe. I can’t thank Cool Down St. Louis enough for being such a reliable and committed partner,” said Mayor Krewson.
On May 29, Mayor Krewson announced a $64 million funding package through the CARES Act and other federal sources to address the health, humanitarian, and economic impacts of COVID-19 on more than 300,000 St. Louisans. Though the Board of Aldermen just passed this historic legislation on July 8, Mayor Krewson has been working intently across all departments to ensure the prompt delivery of vital resources like electric and gas utility assistance to the community.
“We are thrilled that Mayor Krewson, the City of St. Louis Department of Health (DOH), and the Community Development Administration (CDA) are partnering with us to keep residents cool and safe. These CARES Act funds will be a lifesaver for hopefully hundreds of qualified residents,” said Rev. Earl E. Nance, Jr., chair emeritus and corporate treasurer of Cooldownstlouis.org.
Applications for City residents only are now available at Cooldownstlouis.org under the "Get Help Now!” red tab. For seniors over the age of 65 and the physically disabled without access to a computer or Internet access, please call the seniors only hotline at (314) 241-0001 or (314) 657-1599 during regular business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for help with the application.
Cooldownstlouis.org will determine eligibility based on criteria that includes but is not limited to an outstanding balance on utility bills, inability to pay or a disconnection notice, and income and current employment status. Qualified City residents could receive potential grants of upwards of $1,750, per household, depending on their outstanding balances.
“People are hurting and it’s not just our beloved seniors and disabled neighbors, but many moderate-income individuals who were laid off or faced with reduced hours because of COVID-19. These grants will give so many hope,” Rev. Nance, Jr. added.
Cooldownstlouis.org is also currently working with local utilities to help City residents with high utility balances keep their electricity running this summer. Being without electricity during humid, hot weather can lead to heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and potentially death.
Mayor Krewson will have additional announcements in the coming days about assistance available for the community through the City’s CARES Act allocation.