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Energy assistance supports Silverton senior through health scare

22 May. 2017

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Energy assistance supports Silverton senior through health scare


During Colorado’s chilly winter months, the snow-covered San Juan Mountains around Silverton attract skiers, snowmobilers and other adventurers. But some local residents are challenged simply to stay warm and safe in their homes.

Energy Outreach Colorado, through its statewide energy assistance program, provides funding each year to San Juan County Human Services to help low-income families and seniors in one of Colorado’s smallest, poorest and coldest counties keep up with their winter energy bills.

Linda D., a disabled senior, has lived in Silverton for 25 years. Because of a severe lung condition, she can no longer work and requires round-the-clock oxygen and weekly home intravenous treatments.

“Without utilities I can’t do all of this,” she said. “My biggest fear is that I won’t be self-sufficient anymore and I’ll have to move in with one of my kids and become a burden.”

To make matters worse, she spent the past few months undergoing treatment for cancer and was in danger of having her home energy shut off – even as snowfall totals surpassed 200 inches. “I had to travel to Denver for surgery and made numerous trips to doctors in Durango, plus radiation therapy,” she said.

Fortunately, she is now cancer free. And, thanks to energy assistance, she is caught up on her energy bill. “It’s been a real struggle the last few months but the help I received is absolutely life-sustaining,” she said. “It’s made things so much easier. I’m ever so grateful and I’m hopefully good to go now.”

Kristina Rhoades with San Juan County Human Services said Energy Outreach Colorado’s help is “a life-saver for so many people who otherwise would not be able to heat their homes throughout our bitter and long winter season.” 


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