October: Join Us In Focusing On Our Energy and Weatherization Services
Published: October 22, 2021
Words by: Tori Bors
ATCAA, during its year-long commemoration marking 40 years of “People Helping People,” is all this month sharing how our Energy Conservation/Weatherization and Utility Bills Assistance can make a difference for those in need.
In our Jackson office, Tamara Evans and Sarah Zubair tag team together to expertly help folks who qualify navigate the process. Both have each worked more than a dozen years at ATCAA in various departments.
“What I like most about what I am doing now is that I can help be a part of a team that assists the community with utility assistance payments and weatherizing homes,” Sarah shares proudly. “We also are finally able to offer water payments -- which is a huge development as we have not been able to offer direct payments in the past. While this may be a grant that is not funded in the future, it is great that we can offer it now when people are still really struggling from the pandemic.”
As Sarah points out, ATCAA’s Energy programs help families use their much-stretched financial resources on other household expenses by freeing up dollars from their wallets that would have been otherwise spent on what are sometimes very large utility bills. “We are able to prevent shut offs and also assist when feasible with restoring electricity or propane.”
Tamara chimes in, “I love serving, period, and I wouldn't have it any other way...being an ear in such uncertain times to clients going through so much right now. Our programs bring such a relief to clients who have experienced a loss of a job or a loved one who passed away and are now living on one paycheck.”
She continues, “Our services literally save lives. I spoke to a client who mentioned they had wanted to take their life -- not because of their PG&E bill but because they felt they were alone -- and after reaching out to ATCAA, they felt connected again because someone took the time to just listen. We offer more than services and that is truly the key to connecting: by serving with empathy and passion.”
Nodding, Sarah adds, “Working for ATCAA has made me realize how rural communities are unique in needs and in resources…there are not the same level of resources that there might be in the cities. I am happy to be a part of an agency that provides supportive resources and benefits coordination with other partnering agencies. I love the people I work with and feel like we are all committed to building a strong community.”