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Heating Assistance Requests Increase in NWI

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Northern Indiana Public Service Company has power back to most of its Northwest Indiana customers who lost it almost a week ago.

But requests for home heating assistance in the region have jumped considerably. Only two other states are seeing their jobless rate rise faster than Indiana’s.

The crisis with the auto industry is hitting nearly every corner of the state, especially in Northwest Indiana’s steel industry.

Mounting layoffs have families asking for help paying their utility bills.

CARDOSI: It’s really increased. We went up from 115 calls to 570.

That’s Sylvia Cardosi of the Crown Point-based Northwest Indiana Community Action Corporation, which serves a six-county area.

Cardosi says in October her agency began to see a hike in the number of people wanting to set up a home heating assistance program with NIPSCO. She thinks the number will keep rising.

Her agency also works to keep utilities from being shut off due to non-payment.

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