City of Wichita officials have launched a program that encourages residents to help those who are struggling to pay their water bills. The program is called the “H2O (Help to Others) Care Fund”. Donation forms are in brochures currently being delivered in water bills. They are also available at www.wichita.gov.
The program, proposed by Council Member Lavonta Williams amid concerns of rising water rates, was approved by the City Council in early November.
“Families are struggling with making utility payments as our economy continues to recover,” Williams said. “This program can make a difference. I want to thank our generous residents in advance, for supporting their fellow Wichitans.”
The H2O Care Fund will rely on the generosity of water customers. Donations may be tax deductible. Residents can donate to the H2O Care Fund by 1) designating a fixed amount to be added to their monthly water bills; 2) authorizing Public Works & Utilities Department to ‘round up’ their bill to the nearest dollar, with the extra amount going to the H2O Care Fund; and 3) making a donation directly to the H2O Care Fund through the Center for Hope, a local social services agency that will administer the fund. The agency provides emergency financial assistance to families in need as well as case management, budgeting and other services.
The H2O Care Fund is modeled after a similar and successful program the City operated several years ago as well as the Westar Energy Project DESERVE program.
More than 4,200 water bill accounts were facing service disruption in early October, according to Public Works & Utilities. Residents needing assistance with water bills should contact the Center of Hope (316 267-0222). The center accepts calls from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and schedules appointments during the week.
Download the H2O (Help to Others) Care Fund brochure.