Tenants, landlords and homeowners - nearly 60 of them - received explanations at the Lewisburg Gas Department's community room last week about the federally funded weatherization program.
Emily Satterfield of the South Central Human Resources Agency administers the program that installs insulation and provides advice on how to reduce energy costs. She spoke to more than a dozen visitors, including a man who later spoke of his personal circumstances on a condition of anonymity.
"I've worked hard and long all my life," the South Marshall County man said, "and I've never asked for nothing, but now I feel embarrassed.
"I need help," he said, explaining personal, family circumstances that have left him "wiped out" financially.
He asked questions during the seminar "to see if I qualify," the man said. Satterfield "said 'yes,'" he continued.
The weatherization program is administered from the South Central Human Resources Agency office in Fayetteville, but the agency has an office in Lewisburg on Old Columbia Road across the street from the Marshall County Highway Department's garage. Applicants for assistance may go there.
The idea is to install insulation so heating and cooling bills will be lower. That also lowers federal costs as paid through a comp-anion program called LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program. It pays several hundred dollars for residents' gas, electric, propane and other energy costs.
"There are a lot of people out there who would feel better about themselves if they had a little boost to get you back on track," the divorced man said.
"Before, I could pay cash for a new truck," he said, recalling times when he'd established two businesses, one being a home and office service. "I'm not afraid to work. I even tried to deliver pizzas and get scrap metal to pay bills."
He plans to use the program to insulate his home and reduce electric and natural gas bills, he said.
Another man who attended the meeting at the Gas Department building on Ellington Parkway was Tom Roche, proprietor of Lewisdale Mobile Home Park on Franklin Road.
"It was mainly informational," said Roche, who may have mobile homes insulated.
The program is to help residents who must request help from the agency. For more information call Craig Blackwell of the Lewisburg Gas Department at 359-4016, or the South Central Human Resources Agency at its offices here where the phone number is 270-1443.