CAP provides gas bill relief for elderly, disabled
By Michael Wright, Editor
Jun 13, 2017, 14:34
The City of Dumas’ Citizens Assistance Program, or CAP, is a program designed to help the city’s low-income elderly residents and those who are 100 percent disabled. The program offers monthly financial relief applied to qualifying residents’ gas bills during the winter months of December, January and February (as long as funds are available).
Jay Patel, who is the finance director for the City of Dumas, recently spoke to the Dumas City Commission regarding CAP. His goal is to better market and expand the program to assist more residents in need.
“People fall a lot more behind on their utility bills during the winter months,” Patel said. “CAP helps people on fixed incomes. It directly benefits people in need in the community.”
Currently, CAP requirements include being 65 years of age or older and having an income of less than $25,000 or 100 percent disabled. The program provides up to $68 per month to the gas utility bills of qualifying residents.
Patel says he believes there are many others in the community who could benefit from the program, but may not be aware of its existence.
“It’s a great program,” he said. “If it is marketed well and gains traction, the potential is immense.”
Patel is passionate about the program. He says since he is new to Dumas, he sees promoting and growing this program as a way to make a difference in the community.
CAP is funded by donations from the public. The program receives some one-time donations from individuals throughout the year, and others opt to have a $1 additional charge added to their monthly utility bills through the City of Dumas. The more donations that are received, the more people CAP may assist. CAP is limited only by the generosity of the community.
Patel’s goal is to increase awareness of the program and possibly modify the qualifications to allow more residents who are in need to receive assistance. For the time being, he simply wants to make sure people are aware of the program whether they are interested in helping those in need of if they are interested in applying for assistance.
The city’s utility department receives a lot of positive feedback from the people who receive assistance during the winter months. Those individuals receiving assistance are so appreciative for the relief provided and the strain that it removes from their household budgets.
To find out more about more about CAP, contact Dumas City Hall at 935-4101.