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3000 Rockefeller Ave
Everett, Washington 98201
The Snohomish County Young Professionals Network is a countywide organization focused on cultivating tomorrow's business and community leaders. Young professionals are typically defined as individuals from 21-39, but those young at heart are also welcome. ... more
Director of the Program
Retired Senior Volunteer Program
In 2009-2010 Snohomish County was given $2.8 million in federal funds to help families with their energy bills, this year there is only $1.48 million secured.
County officials estimate the funding shortfall could result in 3,700 fewer households receiving energy assistance.
"We are really hoping the funds will be increased," said Beuscher.
The funding comes from the Federal Health and Human Services Budget yet to be approved by congress.
Beuscher says there is an effort to try to convince lawmakers about the funding shortfall.
Because of a delay in this year's funding, Beuscher said, until recently the program was only helping families in crisis, those with utilities shut off or about to be shut off.
Phone lines opened last week to make appointments for others needing help.
"We're seeing an extremely large increase in people seeking help, in part because of funding delays and due to the economy," Beuscher said.
Qualifying incomes for the program are a maximum of $1,128 monthly for a single person or $2,297 for a four-person household.
Beuscher is glad there are additional utility settlement funds this year, about $500,000 worth.
That money will help people with slightly higher incomes.
"They should call, we're happy to look at their situation," Beuscher said.
Also, the Snohomish County PUD has Project Pride, an assistance program operated by the Red Cross.
And Puget Sound Energy has an energy assistance program, plus its Warm Neighbor fund.
In 2008, Beuscher said, the county's program helped provide heat to 4,554 households.
Of those, 918 were senior households, 1,552 households included disabled people, "and there were lots of kids" - 902 children age 2 and younger, Beuscher said.
"Last year was the largest year in the history of the county," Beuscher said.
"This year I expect it to be as large or larger.
It has a great positive effect on our community, with so many folks unemployed,"
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