Project Helping Hand funds shall be used only for members of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative, Inc. (GCEC)
Assistance from Project Helping Hand will be used for the sole purpose of supplementing and extending current available resources, but not to substitute or reimburse ongoing programs and services. The assistance is merely a supplement to other programs that are already available.
Funds will be used for families who show a temporary need in paying their utility bill. A Customer Service Representative will review an applicant’s pay history prior to receipt of assistance. First consideration will be given to these categories:
Elderly (age 65 and older)
Families below the Federal Poverty Line
All others who demonstrate a verifiable need for assistance
To be considered for Helping Hand monies, GCEC customers must:
Have identification with the same address as the GCEC account
You must be a member of GCEC for a minimum of six months to be considered for assistance
Have a plan to pay future bills
Delinquent GCEC account
Disconnect notice; and/or
A current bill that they may not be able to pay
Members are required to contact the Family Service Agency at (850) 785-1721 to initiate the process.
The Family Service Agency will then check their databases to ensure that the member has not received help from another agency.
The Family Service Agency will contact GCEC to confirm the amount owed and obtain payment information, which will be confidential and used only in making the determination concerning the recipient’s eligibility.
The Family Service Agency will inform the Customer Service Representative of the amount to be paid on the account by first calling, then faxing approval to the Cooperative within one business day.
Payment histories will be used in the subjective reasoning of each case. A reoccurring poor payment history suggests that the payment problems may continue whether or not Project Helping Hand funds are granted. Thus, the applicant can and may be turned down for poor payment histories.
Project Helping Hand funds can only help residential members. No funds will be issued to any business or commercial account.
The Family Service Agency will be responsible for completing follow-up checks to make sure the families’ lives are improved.