Press Releases


LIHEAP Applications – November 4th -15th, 2019

UESF to Assist with LIHEAP Applications

(October 23, 2019) The Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) continues its annual effort to assist at-risk Philadelphians maintain their housing by providing assistance for heating bills, by assisting with LIHEAP applications.  This is an effort by UESF to maximize access to utility assistance. 

During the week, from November 4 through November 15, UESF will convert its 7th floor training center into a LIHEAP Access Point.  Staff will be available from 10AM to 3PM to assist with the completion and submission of LIHEAP, PECO CAP, Philadelphia Gas Works CRP, and Philadelphia Water Department TAP applications.   

To be eligible for LIHEAP:

  • You must meet income guidelines (150% of FPL);
  • You don’t have to be on public assistance;
  • You don’t need to have an unpaid heating bills
  • You can rent or own your home   

Households experiencing a heating crisis may be eligible for additional benefits through the LIHEAP Crisis program. Emergency situations include:

  • Broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced
  • Lack of fuel
  • The main heating source or second heating source (a source that is used to operate the main heating source or used if the main heating source is not working) has been completely shut-off
  • Danger of being without fuel (less than a 15 day supply)
  • Danger of having utility service terminated (you’ve received a notice that service will be shut off within the next 60 days)

“Heating affordability is critical as we head into the winter.  LIHEAP grants and other UESF provided utility assistance complement UESF’s “no wrong door” approach to housing stabilization by reducing the family’s expense and raising net income.”  said John Rowe, UESF’s Executive Director “The Commonwealth’s Department of Human Services manages this federal LIHEAP program.  We anticipate in excess of $170 million available for the residents of Pennsylvania, providing between a $200 and a $1,000 cash benefit.”  

If you are in need of assistance or are an organization interested in referring participants to UESF, you can contact UESF’s Main number at (215) 972-5170.

UESF offers services in many areas that lead to housing stabilization and self-sufficiency, such as breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty, working with families with children in the Philadelphia School District; resolving Veteran homelessness; providing workforce development support; and providing housing and utility assistance.

About LIHEAP Grants: The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants.  The cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to the utility company/fuel provider to be credited on your bill. These grants range from $200 to $1,000 based on household size, income, and fuel type. Remember: This is a grant and does not have to be repaid.


College Savings Account Program – September 2019

UESF launches the College Savings Account Program for
high school seniors and first year college students

PHILADELPHIA, PA (September 23, 2019) – Through a partnership with the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UGPSNJ), UESF has launched the UESF College Savings Account program to assist high school seniors who plan to attend a 4 year college or university and 1st year college students who are enrolled in a 4 year college or university. The goal of the program is to help students gain financial awareness, incorporate good financial behaviors early, and access postsecondary education by building savings to support their postsecondary goals.

Funded by the United Way and run by UESF, the program will match student savings contributions 3 to 1.  For example, a student contribution of $500 would be matched with $1,500, resulting in $2,000 to be used toward college-related expenses.  These expenses could include but not be limited to tuition, SAT/ACT testing, application fees, books, and laptops.

“UESF is fortunate to be able to assist with paying for college and to contribute to the stabilization of families.”  John Rowe, UESF Executive Director    

For more information, contact Cheryl Mackey at cherylmackey@uesfacts.org, 215.814.6835 or visit UESF’s website at https://uesfacts.org/our-programs/collegesavingsaccount/


U. S Department of Veteran Affairs – August 2019

UESF Awarded over $1 Million by the U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs to Stabilize Housing for Homeless and Imminently Homeless Philadelphia Veterans.

Award made to UESF for Seventh Consecutive Year,

(August 31, 2019) Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) has been awarded $1,040,402 from the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program to stabilize housing for homeless and imminently homeless veterans in Philadelphia.

“Since first receiving SSVF funding in 2013, UESF has assisted over 1200 vulnerable Veteran families stabilize their housing,” said John Rowe, UESF Executive Director. “We are grateful for the continued confidence of the VA’s SSVF leadership in UESF to successfully carry out these services, and we look forward to further mitigating homelessness among Philadelphia’s Veterans.”

“We have been helping our veteran community since 2013 with our SSVF Program, this is the logical next step to allow us to expand our service to this community.” said John Rowe, UESF Executive Director. “We are grateful FHL Bank Pittsburgh and PHFA placed their confidence in our credibility to help us continue to further battle the homelessness problem among Philadelphia’s Veterans.”

Veterans in need of assistance or organizations interested in referring Veterans to UESF can contact UESF’s Veterans hotline at (215) 814-6888.


The Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia – May 2019

UESF Awarded Grant to Expand our Shelter to Permanent Program

(May 22, 2019) Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) continues to innovate in their approach to providing a path out of Philadelphia’s homeless shelters. UESF has been working with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services to eliminate utility arrearages enabling Philadelphians to exit the shelters and find permanent housing. Through a generous award of $25,000 from The Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia Giving Circle’s donor-advised fund at the Philadelphia Foundation, UESF is expanding its Shelter to Permanent housing work by providing security deposits to single woman families coming out of the Philadelphia Shelter System allowing the families to enter permanent housing.

The lack of funds for security deposits to move into a property has been an on-going obstacle for many families coming out of the shelter system. Families are not able to move out of shelter in a timely manner causing the city to continue to pay shelter costs for families who otherwise would be able to obtain and sustain their own housing. With these awarded funds we anticipate to help 15-20 families by removing this barrier and help break the cycle of poverty within Philadelphia.

“We’ve been eliminating utility arrearages for Philadelphians, a barrier for permanent housing,” said John Rowe, UESF Executive Director. “Due to the generosity of the Cosmopolitan Club’s Giving Circle, families are empowered to leave the shelter system and continue on the path to self-sufficiency.”

If you are in need of assistance or are an organization interested in referring participants to UESF, you can contact UESF’s Main number at (215) 972-5170. We offer services in many areas such as; families with children in the Philadelphia School district, Veterans, Veteran ex-offenders, workforce development, utility assistance, PA CareerLink® participants, and households with high water usage.

About The Cosmopolitan Club: The Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia, a private women’s club, enriches the lives of its members by providing opportunities to cultivate friendships, exchange ideas, and enjoy interesting programs.  Founded in 2016, The Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia Giving Circle demonstrates the power of collective philanthropy through its grants to not-for-profit organizations that improve the life circumstances of women and children in the community.  


Home4Good – December 2018

UESF Awarded Home4Good Grant to Help
Ready for Release Incarcerated Veterans Stabilize Housing

(Dec 14, 2018) Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) has been awarded $223,470 from FHLBank Pittsburgh and PHFA for the Home4Good Funding Award to go towards initiatives that targets homelessness in Pennsylvania.

UESF’s new program will provide housing and supportive services to homeless Veterans released from the PA Prison System within the past year who are ineligible for our current Veterans program.  The supportive services will provide long-term Intensive case management, a housing stability plan, self-sufficient workshops, job placement, internal referrals to our other programs and a matrix system that will track progress throughout the enrollment of the program.

“We have been helping our veteran community since 2013 with our SSVF Program, this is the logical next step to allow us to expand our service to this community.” said John Rowe, UESF Executive Director. “We are grateful FHL Bank Pittsburgh and PHFA placed their confidence in our credibility to help us continue to further battle the homelessness problem among Philadelphia’s Veterans.”

Veterans in need of assistance or organizations interested in referring Veterans to UESF can contact UESF’s Veterans hotline at (215) 814-6888.