Programs that provide financial assistance for people who are at risk for having their utilities shut off; offer discounted utility services; provide disconnection protection; arrange for notification regarding pending disconnection; make available special services such as large print utility bills or levalized energy bill payment arrangements which support people's ability to make their payments; or supply wood, propane, butane or other fuel for heating or cooking purposes in situations where people have no other means of acquiring them. Utility assistance programs may have age, income, disability, need or other eligibility requirements.
Programs that pay for or provide access to TTY equipment (also known as text telephones, TDDs and telecommunication devices for the deaf), or other specialized telecommunications devices such as voice carry-over telephones, amplified telephones, telebraillers, voice-activated telephones, sip-n-puff telephones or large visual displays for use at home or in the office by people who are deaf or hearing impaired, have speech disabilities or physical limitations, or need to communicate with a person with a hearing impairment or speech disability. Included are programs that pay for or loan such equipment to people with disabilities or organizations serving them, or which operate sites where such equipment is available for use by the public.
Programs that provide information about the location of gas and electric lines, water mains, telephone lines or other utility piping or cabling to prevent people who are involved in construction or other activities requiring extensive digging from severing them and interrupting utility services. In most cases, the authorities come out to the property and mark the location of lines on site.
Programs that facilitate the exchange of information and/or provide short-term assistance, usually in the form of food, clothing, blankets, temporary shelter, furnishings, small appliances or temporary financial aid, for people who have suffered injuries or incurred losses due to a major disaster or large-scale emergency that disrupts the normal functioning of a community. The objective of disaster relief is to help individuals sustain their lives during the immediate aftermath of the event. NOTE: "Disaster Relief" is a category of services utilized by community human services agencies involved in disaster work. Government organizations do not recognize disaster relief as a formal part of the disaster cycle. Most of the services classified as disaster relief are considered by government to be part of disaster recovery and a few (e.g., disaster welfare inquiries) are categorized as disaster response.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.