The number of Fresno families seeking help to keep their homes warm this winter has risen.
And with the coldest time of the year settling in, high unemployment and tough economic times tightening family budgets, that number is expected to continue to rise, administrators of utility assistance programs said.
"They'll be coming in droves in January and February," said Lalo Acevedo, program director for the Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission, which works with utility companies on programs to help households pay energy bills.
In Tulare County, the utility assistance program administered through Community Services Employment Training has helped nearly twice as many families this year compared to 2008, said Lily Rivera-Graves, director of energy and housing programs.
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