NC Leadership Forum – Electricity Need

NC Leadership Forum – Electricity Need


In this neighborhood, there are a lot of
changes going on. People that can afford it, it seems like they’re pushing
out the people that can’t afford to stay in this neighborhood. It’s a lot of
frustration, especially when you’re living in poverty. It’s a lot of
frustration, because you don’t have a lot of options. I know a lot of people, that
do not have, I mean, electricity. So many times we have people calling, “my
electrical bill- I couldn’t pay it and we are sitting in the dark with the kids.” These parents will come here in tears. I don’t even know what to do because
electricity is not only about lighting, but it’s also about cooking. People don’t
think that stuff exists, but it does. It does happen. I’ve seen people use candlelight, you know, by night and just use the daylight by day because they can’t
afford their electricity bill. A lot of them- this community is an old community,
so a lot of the houses don’t have the insulation that is needed. So, when these
individuals come in for help, sometimes their bills are like three, four hundred
dollars. I’ve even seen it as high as six hundred dollars. It’s frustrating for me,
being a renter, because- one, you can call your landlord, you can tell your landlord, they might come out and do something about it. Nine times out of ten they’re not. Okay, so you’re still burning, this
this money is still going out your window somewhere. They’re not gonna come
out and assess the situation. We have “central air and heat”, but if it
gets too cold outside, we have no heat. It’s blowing, it’s constantly on, and it’s
blowing cool air. Like, for me what I have to do- I have to get kerosene. Would you imagine how much you spend in a day? Buying kerosene to warm up your house when you have central heat that’s not warming up your house, but they still add
that to part of your bill. You know, we’d be dressed to go to bed,
had extra blankets, got up in the morning. I would, late at night, I would
cut the kerosene down as low as possible so I wouldn’t, it wouldn’t be freezing
cold in here, but I wouldn’t burn up a lot of the kerosene fuel. So, in the
morning time, I would turn it up so it would warm up enough for them to get up
and I would warm water, you know, so they would have warm water to wash out with and
that’s how we did it. Someone comes to us and says, “I don’t have light in my house.” For me, I don’t look at just the lights. I look at it, that’s how they provide food,
that’s how they can see each other, that’s just like what
gives them hope. When you have light in your house, it shows that you have life
and if that is gone, even your dreams are shut off.

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