Faces of LIHEAP: Mary Dykstra

Mary Dykstra

Mary Dykstra is a hard-working single mother and student. She needed LIHEAP’s help after her sister unexpectedly moved out.

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Faces of LIHEAP: Aja Rail


Upon moving to Montana, Aja Rail became very ill while pregnant with her first child. She was forced to stop working in order to recuperate.

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Faces of LIHEAP: Kimberly Williams

Kimberly Williams

Kimberly Williams was finishing school and working full time when she found out that there was an outstanding balance on her family’s energy bill that she was not able to pay right away.

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Faces of LIHEAP: Tate Cron


When Tate Cron lost his construction job during the economic crisis, he needed to find ways to help support his daughter in a safe environment.

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State of Minnesota Weatherization Program Renewable Energy Equipment Grant

Photo by John Borge

Due to lack of funding, the state of Minnesota had to turn away nearly 50,000 households who applied for fuel assistance and qualified in 2006. Since then, funding has expanded with numerous experimental programs underway on both the energy assistance and the weatherization front.

The Minnesota Renewable Energy Grant program assists weatherization agencies throughout the state with installation of renewable energy equipment, including solid fuel furnaces and solar hot air units, on low income homes. Open to all 32 weatherization agencies in the State, the Renewable Grant pilot program launched at the end of 2007. Nine agencies have participated so far with $134,957.00 awarded to date. The pilot program produced pay-back calculations and solar site analysis for 30 single family homes in the past year. This grant has installed solar air heat systems on 30 homes to date, at an average expense of $4,500 each.

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Maricopa County Human Services Department, Community Services Division

Photo by Laura Segall

Avondale, Arizona in Maricopa County just west of Phoenix, is one of the major growth areas of the Valley of the Sun. This weatherization project targeted 46 multi-family, low-income housing units in Norton Circle, a housing authority complex in the City of Avondale, to reduce energy costs and provide comfort and safety for residents. The project entailed an innovative collaboration among 7 organizations, spearheaded by the County’s housing authority. Usually, homes in Maricopa County are weatherized as single-family dwellings, one at a time. This project weatherized 46 units at one time, thereby creating unique program efficiency. Labor costs, material costs and administrative costs were reduced by over 50% as a result.

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Pine Street Neighborhood Revitalization, Commission on Economic Opportunity


Founded as coal-mining center, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, was just the third city in the US to establish a city-wide electricity grid in 1891–the same year the city was incorporated as a municipality. The Pine Street neighborhood is light-industrial area of two

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The St. Johns Housing Partnership An Experiment in Affordable Housing

Photo by Tony Brown

In 2003, the St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP) launched their first community development project. Called Hancock Place, it is a full neighborhood of thirty-six affordable, Energy Star–certified, water-conserving homes for low-income families. It was SJHP’s first foray into new construction.

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Community Environmental Center: A Renewable Experiment


In March 2009, the Community Environmental Center (CEC) installed solar hot water systems in two multifamily buildings in Brooklyn, New York, as a component of the weatherization of these buildings. Although extremely popular in Europe, thermal solar panels are a

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Lopez Community Land Trust: Common Ground, A Net-Zero Neighborhood

Photo by Benjamin Drummond

Building an affordable neighborhood in and of itself is a challenge. Making it net-zero energy is even harder. But the Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT) has proven that the results are more than worth the effort. LCLT built Common Ground,

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