Dropping temps increase need for HeatShare energy assistance

Jan 10, 2024

Minnesota’s warmest December on record has been ousted by single-digit January temperatures that could last for months. 

That’s a problem for many low-income families. Some will be forced to spend more money than they can afford to heat their homes, leaving less money to pay for other essentials like rent, food and clothing. 

Thankfully, there is Salvation Army HeatShare ­– an energy assistance program for Minnesotans in desperate need. Since 1982, the program has provided life-changing support for more than 160,000 local families affected by or at risk of a utility shut-off. (Donate now.)

That includes a single mother named Kormasah (pictured) from Minneapolis. While finishing school to be a medical assistant, her monthly income was not enough to pay for rent, food, electricity, and natural gas. 

“It was either pay the gas bill, or pay for food,” Kormasah said. 

She chose to pay for food, which left her and her kids without heat or hot water in October and November. Throughout the fall they had to bundle up in their warmest clothes while living inside their own home. To bathe, they heated water in a microwave and dumped it into their bathtub.  

Thankfully, Kormasah found out about Salvation Army HeatShare, which provided her with financial assistance to get her heat turned back on before the bitter cold arrived. 

“My kids were excited and jumping for joy,” Kormasah said. “Without The Salvation Army, we wouldn’t have had heat. We were so thankful.”

Support HeatShare

The need for HeatShare is monumental: Requests for assistance can reach 40,000 annually, which is far greater than the available resources. 

You can help meet this critical need by donating online today. Or, look for the HeatShare donation section on your monthly energy bill. 

The Salvation Army will use your donation to keep the heat on for Minnesota families in need, including:

  • Low-income seniors
  • Those living with a disability that prevents them working a steady job
  • Anyone experiencing an unexpected financial emergency

HeatShare funds are also used to help pay for propane or fuel oil. These fuels are not covered by the Minnesota Cold Weather Rule, which can protect people from having their heat shut off. 

During the past 42 years, HeatShare has provided just over $43 million worth of assistance thanks to generous donors like you. Last year, more than 1,100 Minnesota households received an average of $380 in HeatShare funds to keep their homes warm. 

“Please give generously to HeatShare,” said Lt. Col. Randall Polsley, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “The more donations we receive for this program, the more families we can keep warm this winter.”

HeatShare assistance is available for people who’ve exhausted all other private and government assistance programs. 

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