Residents who find themselves in a financial bind when it comes to heating their homes this winter have options for keeping warm.
Crisis Assistance, a state program administered by the Virginia Department of Social Services, provides assistance to families in emergency situations who need heating fuel and other supplies to stay warm.
The state can assist if a family doesn't have heat, is in danger of having a utility disconnected or if the heating system they have isn't working or is dangerous, according to state department of social services website.
If eligible, families can receive money for the payment of a heating utility bill or a utility security deposit.
In some cases, the state can pay for the repair or replacement of heatng equiptment or the cost of emergency shelter for the family.
To be eligible for Crisis Assistance, the state requires that the resident meet citizenship and income requirements.
Applications for equipment-related assistance, security deposits and emergency shelters are accepted from Nov. 1 through March 15 at local departments of social services.
There are three Virginia Department of Social Services offices in the Prince William County area:
Manassas Park: 1 Park Center Court, inside City Hall
Manassas: 7987 Ashton Ave. Suite 200
Woodbridge: 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Suite 180
Assistance for the purchase of heating fuel and utility bills for primary residences are available from the first workday in January through March 15.
Find PDF copies of applications and more about the state's eligibility requirements here.