City and Nonprofits to help on MLGW Bill
$2.5 million for incomes 150%-175% of poverty level

SMA is proud to announce a $2.5 million partnership with the City of Memphis to help citizens struggling with high utility bills who do not qualify for existing programs.

SMA Executive Director, Reginald Milton stated, "Though SMA's Power On! program we will be able to help the working poor who are struggling with high utility bills and do not qualify for existing programs."

"The city can not afford to not help people in need," said Mayor Willie Herenton.

The city will award eligible families up to $500 toward a past-due MLGW bill, and families must be prepared to pay the balance.

Families will not receive a check. Instead, the money will be applied directly toward their utility bill in "one-stop shops" set up at partner organizations that will handle applications, screening and the electronic transfer of city funds to Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.

To qualify, people must have income that falls between 150 percent and 175 percent of the federal government's poverty income guidelines and have received a service interruption notice.

A family of four would have to have an income of between $32,012 and $37,100 to qualify.

"There are gaps," said Sara Lewis, special assistant to the mayor overseeing the city's Youth Services and Community Affairs Office. "There are those people who do all those things that have to be done and are plagued by high bills. Some work two or three or four jobs ... and they are the ones who are in the gap that are hurting."

The other partners are the city's Office of Human Services, the Works, Inc. and Case Management.

Help is available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 575-7200.