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The Salvation Army and Nicor Gas are partnering to provide emergency assistance and homelessness prevention through Shield of Caring, a new program that will help individuals and families to pay their natural gas utility bills and meet other basic needs now and well into the future.
Nicor Gas has contributed $5 million to The Salvation Army to serve those hardest hit by the pandemic. The Salvation Army will distribute the financial assistance through its corps community centers and service extension units in 37 counties in Nicor Gas’ Illinois service territory. The funding will assist residential customers who are past due on their natural gas utility bill and report a financial hardship, such as a job loss, illness, military deployment or disability.
The multiyear partnership is estimated to help more than 25,000 families. Nicor Gas residential customers with a household gross income in the last 30 days below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible to receive a grant of up to $250 once every two years to apply to their past due account balances. Customers who are eligible to receive assistance grants from other programs, such as LIHEAP or Sharing, should apply for a grant from these programs. Customers who still have a past-due account balance after receiving assistance from those programs may be eligilble to receive a grant under the Shield of Caring Program. A portion of the funds will also support The Salvation Army’s basic needs programs, such as emergency housing and rental assistance, food assistance and case management to help families identify barriers to self-sufficiency.
Note: Nicor Gas and The Salvation Army reserve the right to modify, suspend or discontinue the program at any time.