PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – For more than two decades, one of the famous faces of the Steelers has been the point man for LIHEAP.

Hall of fame running back Franco Harris is back again this year.

“I have been around a long time telling people about LIHEAP and every year it’s important. The importance does not go away,” Harris said.

Harris was one of the people presenting details of this year’s LIHEAP program on Pittsburgh’s North Side Thursday morning. The low income home energy assistance program is a joint effort between Columbia Gas, Equitable Gas, Peoples Natural Gas and Peoples TWP.

Hank Rettger is vice president customer relations for Equitable Gas.

“With this goal in mind we came together as partners for warmth creating a joint customer education effort to assist our customers who may be struggling financially during tough times,” Rettger said.

One of the new ways they will take the message to the streets is on a natural gas powered trolley.

In addition to making stops throughout Allegheny County, next week, Tuesday and Thursday, it will be in Butler, Beaver, and Washington Counties as well, taking the application process to the people who need it.

“In these tough economic times, you hit it right on the head, “James Harrell from the North Side Coalition for Fair Housing said. “Folks were okay, but now they find themselves in a compromising position where they have to make the decision am I going pay for food or am I going to pay my gas bill.”

Pennsylvania State Rep. Jake Wheatley said you can also apply at state government offices.

“We have all the forms. Our staff is prepared. They are educated about how to help the folks fill them out so we are encouraging people to come in off the street. If you can’t get to the phone or you can’t get to e-mail at home, come to our office, any state office any state rep or state senator is prepared to help them,” Rep. Wheatley said.

Federal funding of more than $200 million is in place in Pennsylvania for grant recipients between now and March 29, 2013.

For more information about the program click here: www.dpw.state.pa.us/foradults/heatingassistanceliheap/S_000960


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