GREENFIELD, Mass (WWLP) - If you’re looking for help to heat your home in Franklin County, it may be awhile.
22News found out another way the government shutdown is impacting you.
How long will this last? It's a question people looking for fuel assistance in Franklin County are asking, but as of now there's painfully no answer the fuel assistance program can give.
Erin Schacht, of Greenfield is worried she will not get the proper assistance to heat her home come winter.
"I have no idea now. How do you keep the electricity on so I can have heat in the house for my kids. I can't even I have no idea. No idea what I'm going to do."
Community Action Fuel Assistance, which helps people in Franklin County heat their homes was supposed to start October first, but the government shutdown has the program at a standstill.
Community Action Energy Director, Peter Wingate told 22News, "We're not answering the phone, we don't have an ability to return phone calls. We have no money to do any mailings. We are certifying paperwork that we have in house. Other than that we've shut down operations. If money doesn't come to us by November 1st, we will not be able to authorize any fuel deliveries for anybody who's out of heat."
About 5,500 applications have been mailed out and are in the midst of being processed by the fuel assistance program. But with only enough money for three weeks of staffing they're not able to mail out the other 5,000 applications or offer the opportunity to enroll to new customers.
The paperwork continues to get slipped under the door to be processed, but it's the uncertainty with winter coming that has residents looking for fuel assistance worried.
Timothy Sullivan, of Greenfield said, "State of disbelief right now. I can't believe this is happening. And how could this happen? We have people we need to take care of and things that need to get done, and this is really getting in the way.
Community Action wants people to continue to inquire for updates by calling at 413-774-2310 or 800-370-0940. You can also visit their website here to check and see when they will be open.