Bernice applied for Energy Assistance and assumed that her holidays would be warm and comfortable after receiving a new delivery of heating oil. Thankful for the warmer than usual weather that Seattle was experiencing, she was happy to be able to use her furnace sparingly so that her oil would stretch as far as possible. During a cold snap, Bernice decided that she needed to maintain consistent heat and dialed up the temperature setting on her thermostat. Curiously, she didn’t hear the usual sounds associated with her furnace starting. After the furnace failed to produce heat, she began to panic. “I didn’t know what to do!” she said. “I’m 86 years old and I need my heat. I called Byrd Barr Place because I knew that they would be able to help me.”

Byrd Barr Place’s Energy Assistance Program works with local heating companies, many of which provide heating system repair to their customers. We made a call to Sound Oil and who sent a technician over the next morning. The technician discovered that Bernice’s electrical panel had failing wiring going to her furnace that needed to be adjusted to get the heat back on. Because of Bridge the Gap donations, Byrd Barr Place was able to cover the $328 cost and authorized the technician to make the repairs on the day of his visit.

Bernice has lived in her home for over 50 years and does everything that she can with her small Social Security income to keep her home habitable. “I sure am happy that you were able to get that old furnace running! I wouldn’t have been able to afford to do it myself. Thank you and Happy Holidays!” Bernice said excitedly.