EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 13, 2013

Federal shutdown having chilling effect locally for seniors, low income

(Continued)

Friedman said locally, LIHEAP helps senior citizens who are living on very fixed incomes handle rising energy costs. It also targets low income working people “who need the assistance so they can continue to feed themselves and pay rent,” Friedman said.

When people cannot afford heat, they will resort to dangerous electric heaters and open their stove ranges, exposing themselves to carbon monoxide poisoning, in order to stay warm, she said. “Small kids can’t tolerate cold,” Friedman also said.

Layoffs will also be tough for GLCAC workers. “Our staff is not highly paid so this will be difficult for them,” Friedman said.

Gornstein, during a meeting Wednesday, said a temporary spending bill needs to pass as soon as possible.

“It was cold last night at my house. And if you are a senior citizen relying on fuel assistance it’s going to be tough come Nov. 1 if you’re not able to get heat,” he said.

Material from the State House News Service was used in this report.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.

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