City announces support for citizens affected by shutdown

Published 10:37 pm Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The city of Suffolk on Tuesday announced a number of ways citizens who are affected by the partial federal government shutdown can get help from city offices and programs.

The federal government shutdown began on Dec. 22, and federal employees are furloughed or working without pay. Those affected can receive assistance through the following departments:

Department of Social Services

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The Department of Social Services provides services to citizens in need, no matter the circumstances, as outlined below. To speak with someone regarding your specific needs, call their main number at 514-7450, and you will be transferred appropriately. The department is located in the Health & Human Services Building, 135 Hall Ave.

  • Energy Assistance: Crisis Assistance

Crisis Assistance is intended for emergency situations. It helps eligible households when Fuel Assistance or other resources cannot meet the need. Some examples of emergencies include: lack of heat, imminent utility cut-off, and inoperable or unsafe heating equipment. Types of Crisis Assistance may include: payment of utility security deposit; purchase of portable space heater; purchase of primary home heating fuel; payment of primary heat utility bill; repair of heating equipment; replacement of heating equipment; and/or provision of supplemental heating equipment maintenance. To be eligible for Crisis Assistance, there must be a heating emergency, and certain income and citizenship criteria must be met. Applications for equipment-related assistance are accepted from Nov. 1 through March 15 at the Suffolk Department of Social Services. Assistance for the purchase of heating fuel and utility bills for primary residences are available from the first workday in January through March 15.

  • Intake Services

Intake Services assist families that have a financial emergency, such as a cutoff or disconnection notice, due to a sudden change in household income. For more information, contact the Suffolk Department of Social Services.

Department of Public Utilities

Payment extensions are being offered to primary account holders who present furlough documents to the Customer Service Office located at Suffolk City Hall, 442 W. Washington St., first floor. For more information, call 514-7000, Option 1, Customer Service.

City Treasurer’s Office

To confirm eligibility for tax deferments, call the Compliance Office, 514-4297, and speak with Andrew Tasch, or visit the Treasurer’s Office in Suffolk City Hall, 442 W. Washington St., first floor.

Department of Parks & Recreation

Affected citizens utilizing childcare services or any active members of the Suffolk recreation centers or sports leagues may be able to have their payments delayed until the government reopens and their paychecks resume. Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact Michael Frickanisce at 514-7250, or visit the Parks & Recreation Administration Office, 134 S. Sixth St.