Highlights from this week’s conversation include:
Abundant Aging is a podcast series presented by United Church Homes. These shows offer ideas, information, and inspiration on how to improve our lives as we grow older. To learn more and to subscribe to the show, visit abundantagingpodcast.com.
Ashley Bills 00:07
Hello and welcome to Ask a NaviGuide part of the Abundant Aging Podcast Series. I’m Ashley, your host and on this show we talk about aging and family caregiving with United Church Homes’ excellent NaviGuide team. Our NaviGuides have decades of experience helping families work through tough issues and so we hope that what we share on the show will be helpful and help our listeners age abundantly. Today, we have Jennifer with us who will help us understand affordable energy and home modification programs. Please remember when listening that the opinions shared on this podcast are not meant to convey or take the place of clinical legal or professional advice. So hello, Jennifer.
Jennifer Craft-Williams 00:48
Hi Ashley. Thank you for having me.
Ashley Bills 00:49
Yeah, I’m so glad that you’re here with us today. So we’re going to talk a little bit about, like I said, affordable energy and home modification programs. But before we do that, we know you’re a NaviGuide, and you work with United Church Homes. But can you explain what a NaviGuide is and how you found yourself in this role?
Jennifer Craft-Williams 01:08
Absolutely. As a NaviGuide service coordinator, my job is to coordinate programs and services to help my residents stay as independent as possible to maintain professional relationships with the resident in the housing community, to identify areas of need and make referrals to community agency as needed to promote wellness activities that include scheduling health presentations, or mobile one sided health care services. And last but not least, to assist residents in building informal supportive networks with other residents, family members and friends. I found myself in this role, I’ve actually been a NaviGuide service coordinator for nine years this month.
Ashley Bills 01:49
Wow, that’s awesome. Congratulations. Thank you. So Jennifer, we know you’ve had experience helping residents and others in your area of service qualify for discounted home energy programs. Can you describe what some of those are?
Jennifer Craft-Williams 02:04
Yes, every state has an affordable energy and Home Modification Program. Even if utilities are included in your rate, you can apply for these programs, they will often send you a monthly check with the deposits. I mean, this count doesn’t count as income or assets. So that won’t affect your income and other programs that you may qualify for.
Ashley Bills 02:25
So are there any restrictions that you’re aware of? For that, for this program, where people might not qualify?
Jennifer Craft-Williams 02:32
The only restriction that I’m aware of is you may not qualify if you’re living in Section 202. Community?
Ashley Bills 02:38
And do you what is a section two a to community that can
Jennifer Craft-Williams 02:41
beat following of the affordable house and Section Eight type of community?
Ashley Bills 02:46
Okay, so maybe just read the fine print, make sure that you’re one that qualifies, or I guess you could call and find out? So speaking of that, then how do we find out? How do you find out about these programs and how that one might qualify?
Jennifer Craft-Williams 03:01
You can do an internet search to find the courtroom in your area. And that’s basically just how you find out with just a quick Google search.
Ashley Bills 03:09
Is there a certain website or anything that we should direct people to we’re just Google,
Jennifer Craft-Williams 03:14
you can Google it any internet search browser, you can just type in affordable energy in home modification programs, and they’ll give you a different list. Because every state varies. And each, there are some grant funded programs that you could qualify for Soto. So depending on your state will determine, like the resources available in your area, if that makes any sense.
Ashley Bills 03:39
Yeah, so if someone does qualify for these programs, what are they able to get from it? What would be the benefit? I mean, you can get several things, did they get new windows or something like
Jennifer Craft-Williams 03:48
that? Yes, they have the home Efficiency Program, which you may qualify to get new windows in your home. I actually was working when I was serving the role as a mental health specialist. My job was to go to a client’s home in Mississippi. It can get to 90 to 100 degrees here. And I noticed that it was very hot in my client’s house and he said, Jennifer, I don’t have an air conditioner. So immediately, I jump in and say, Hey, let me see what’s available for you. So I started looking for an Energy Assistance Program and he actually qualified for a free window air conditioner unit. So he was very pleased with that.
Ashley Bills 04:26
Wow. Yeah, that’s awesome. So I think a lot of listeners would be surprised to find out that there are programs out there that will actually help you make those repairs in your home. So what do you have any other experiences in Mississippi where these people have benefited from this?
Jennifer Craft-Williams 04:45
Absolutely. I’ve worked with people like I said, that may have in the wintertime they had a lot of wind blowing through their windows and stuff like that. And that was the instance that I applied for the Energy Assistance Program and they actually did the window seals and actually one person actually had their whole window replaced. So it can be beneficial just depending on what you’re needing. They can pretty much help you with anything.
Ashley Bills 05:12
If you have why. Yeah. Okay. Anything else you want to provide our listeners before we wrap up this episode?
Jennifer Craft-Williams 05:21
I think we covered everything.
Ashley Bills 05:22
I think so. So Jennifer said that, you know, if you’re unsure if you qualify that we can, you can do a quick Google search and find out how to apply. So thank you for Jennifer for spending time with us today. And thank you for listening to this episode of Ask a NaviGuide, part of the Abundant Aging podcast series brought to you by United Church Homes. If you like the show, please like share and subscribe so we can bring you more content. You can find us at abundantagingpodcast.com. You can find more information about UCH NaviGuide program by visiting UCHNaviGuide.org And for more information about United Church homes, visit UnitedChurchHomes.org. See you next time.