Cleveland:  Step Forward’s Winter Crisis Program will begin November 1, 2023, and will accept applications through the end of March 2023.  The Winter Crisis Program helps eligible Cuyahoga County residents that are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected, or have less than a 25 percent supply of bulk fuel in their tank maintain their utility service.

“During the colder months, as temperatures drop, the inability to properly and safely heat your home can easily become a crisis situation,” explained Paul Billups, Director of HEAP at Step Forward. “The Winter Crisis Program acts as a lifeline for Cuyahoga County residents who face disconnection or dwindling fuel supplies during the winter.”

Last year the program distributed more than $620,000 in assistance funding during the winter season.

To apply for the program, clients must schedule an appointment by calling (216) 350-8008 or online at Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Walk-ins are not accepted.

Residents with scheduled appointments should submit their documentation at least three days in advance of their appointment to receive assistance at the time of appointment. Documentation can be submitted to the Step Forward drop box at 2203 Superior Avenue, through the online scheduler linked above, emailed to, or submitted online at

Clients need to bring copies of the following documents to their appointment:

  • Copies of most recent energy bills; utility bills (gas and/or electric), regardless of account status
  •  A list of all household members and proof of income for the last 30 days or 12 months for each member
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency for all household members
  • Proof of disability (if applicable)
  • Birth Dates and Social Security Numbers for all household members

Eligible households can receive up to $175 if they are a customer of a regulated utility, or $750.00 if they are a customer of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. The assistance is applied to their utility bill. Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. For a family of four the annual income must be at or below $52,500.00.

For more information about the features of the Winter Crisis Program and what is needed to apply, contact Step Forward at (216) 350-8008. To be connected to your local Energy Assistance provider visit or call (800) 282-0880.