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      Group Offers Heating Assistance

      The Salvation Army partners with several agencies and offers a number of programs to help people who are struggling to pay their heating bills.

      They are just outrageous, something needs to be done about this, a lot of people can't afford this, you TMre battling paycheck to paycheck," said Booker.

      Saginaw resident Chris Booker is like thousands of people in Mid-Michigan struggling to pay their heating bill this winter.

      "Some of the bills we've been seeing has been upwards from $1,000 to $2,000, when you figure the average bill is maybe $300 to $400, you can see it's several months that have gone by," said Ruston

      Major Wayne Ruston from the Salvation Army said the number of calls is about the same as last year, but these calls are different.

      "This year especially, we've been seeing a lot more people, the first timers have never been in before, some of them have donated to the program in the Salvation Army and they now find themselves in need," said Ruston.

      There TMs help, the Salvation Army and Consumer's Energy, teaming up this year to provide relief for families.

      "There's absolutely no reason why anyone should go without heat this winter, but they certainly need to take that first step and give us a call, said Consumers Energy Spokeswomen Mary Gust.

      Here are a few guidelines to see if you qualify.

      Bring in current income information for all household members

      Acceptable forms of identification

      An applicant should bring in a decision letter from the Department of Human Services

      And information showing the cause of your financial emergency

      It's just the kinds of help Chris Booker is looking for to keep warm.