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The Department of Social Services (DSS) now offers assistance to Mecklenburg County individuals who are having problems paying their summer cooling expenses.

According to officials, the year-round Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) is a federal program that offers assistance to people and families who are dealing with a crisis involving their heating or cooling system, a medical emergency that poses a threat to their life or well-being, and a final notice or past-due utility bill.

According to a news release, help is offered all year long or until funds run out.

To qualify, a household must meet the following requirements:

  • At least one eligible U.S. citizen or legal resident.
  • Income below 150% of the federal poverty limit.
  • Be responsible for energy bills.
  • Households must be in a cooling or heating-related emergency.

To apply:

  • Visit for more information and to apply online.
  • Call 704-336-3000 to complete a telephone application.

Read the full story here.