Article published by Pilot-Tribune

Common Fund of the Heartland has expanded its energy assistance program with the addition of two new partner agencies: Christian Outreach Program Elkhorn (COPE) and Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership (ENCAP).

With the expansion, Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) and Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) customers living in Washington, Burt, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Johnson, Otoe, Pawnee, Pottawattamie, Richardson, Sarpy and Saunders counties will have access to the assistance program. With the increased promotion of phone applications through United Way 211, a Common Fund partner, this program needed to be able to deliver assistance to a larger geographic area.

“We look forward to working closely with Common Fund and our Community Action peers in Eastern Nebraska — Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties, Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership, and Southeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership —  to address the emergency utility needs of families in our communities, said Aaron Bowen, ENCAP executive director. Reducing the power of poverty is no small task, and we are grateful to OPPD and Common Fund of The Heartland for strengthening our capacity to help families move beyond crisis and work toward greater financial stability.

Common Fund of the Heartland was formed in 2015 to raise funds for utility assistance and to identify gaps in the service provided.