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Coastal Bend residents beating the heat, high bills amid rising temperatures

Senior citizens beat the heat.jpg
Posted at 10:23 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 23:24:14-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Some residents are seeing more than just temperatures go up this summer.

Zavala Senior Center member Macrina Garza said her electric bill is the highest she's seen.

"I'm on a fixed income, and it went from very low to $251, and that's 'cause I'm not home," she said. "I'm here half the day."

Garza is like many others at the center on a fixed income: Finding money to pay for higher utility bills is a challenge.

Since February, the Nueces County Community Action Agency has received a greater number of applications for utility assistance.

"Now people are in more need that they have to figure out: Do I pay for gas to drive somewhere, or do I pay my utility bill?" said the agency's director Linda Carrillo.

She said the organization caters to the most vulnerable in the community but has noticed a different group of people applying for benefits.

"Now we have a new cohort of people coming in who may not know that they meet the eligibility, and they should just come in and we can make that decision for them," she said Carrillo. "Ever since COVID, we've learned that a lot people have changed jobs, have taken different career paths. Because that income has fluctuated, for that reason we welcome everybody to apply."

For more information on how to apply, visit https://www.nccaatx.org