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United Way of Greater Cleveland hosts conversation on social impact of utility debt

The panelists and moderator of the United Way Community Conversations event sit around a table
United Way of Greater Cleveland
The United Way of Greater Cleveland Community Conversations series hosted a conversation on the social impact of utility debt in September.

The number of people seeking financial help to pay their utility bills has risen in recent years, according to the Cleveland nonprofit, CHN Housing Partners. Those individuals may deal with side effects beyond financial debt, including the stress of immediate costs to long-term health implications.

On Tuesday's "Sound of Ideas," we’ll hear a panel discussion organized by the United Way of Greater Cleveland on how utility affordability affects residents in Greater Cleveland, and ways utility assistance programs can help.

The United Way of Greater Cleveland said United Way 211 will partner with CHN Housing Partners and Step Forward, beginning Nov. 1, to streamline the screening process and access to utility expense assistance programs for all residents of Cuyahoga County. The assistance programs include the Cuyahoga County Home Energy Assistance Program, the Percentage of Income Payment Plan, Winter Crisis Program, and Summer Crisis Program.

The conversation held last month was moderated by Ideastream Public Media's health reporter, Stephen Langel.

Visit here to view the entire discussion.

-Stephen Langel, Health Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Jacklyn Chisholm, PhD, Step Forward
-Genevieve Birkby, University Hospitals Rainbow Connects
-Tonja Stewart Shaw, Ohio Consumers Council.

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”