TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- In the South Valley, financial relief is available for families that need help paying their past or current utility bills.
For Tulare County residents who could use the extra hand for utility bills, organizations like the Community Services Employment Training, known as CSET, say they're ready to help.
"We are able to help assist them with their past due bills and we recognize that budgets are very tight right now, inflation is affecting our working families and we want to be able to assist everyone who needs that help," said Mary Alice Escarsega-Fechner, CSET Executive Director.
One Visalia resident, Esmeralda Bonney, stopped by the CSET office on Wednesday morning, asking for help.
She says lately, making ends meet has been challenging.
"Everything is going up, everything, and I am not cutting it. My bill was behind my electricity bill. I cannot afford to get my electricity shut off because I have children in the house," explained Bonney.
She applied for the water and energy bill assistance programs with high hopes.
Escarsgea-Fechner says the water program ends in August, but the energy program is year-round, and families can get up to $15,000.
"Depending on their bill size, they can get anywhere from a couple of hundreds or thousands, depending on the need of the family," Escarsega-Fechner said.
The Southern California Gas Company also provides multiple programs to help with bills for those with natural gas.
Officials say it's been difficult to encourage people to apply for the available money.
"It doesn't hurt to apply. It will take you a few minutes, and if the answer is no, you can confirm, but if the answer is yes, you might get a pleasant surprise to help you lower your bills," said Rob Duchow with Southern California Gas Company.
Bonney says she qualified for about $3,000 which helped lower her past-due electricity bill.
To check out details of the programs available, click here.