Community activists looking to help those with expensive utility bills

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Stephanie Jackson Montgomery is facing a huge bill, over $2,200 to be exact.

The bill goes back years when she had to run a life support machine at home for her premature baby. She says she couldn't pay the bill and her power was cut off forcing her to stay with relatives.

"We have been sleeping on beds, making pads on the floor. There is no room for them when we have a house we can't go to," Montgomery said.

Tuesday, community activists, Frank Matthews and Carlos Chaverst collected names of those struggling to pay their power bills.

"Seems like power bills going to 400 to 12-hundred dollars for one bill. Bills go 30 to 200 for one bill," Chaverst with the Voters Outcast League said.

The pair plan to travel to Montgomery to approach Governor Ivey's administration. They will ask for federal gr ant funds for local efforts to help with those power and gas bills.

"We will ask her to commit some money. Maybe from ADECA, maybe for some of the 501-C-3 agencies that deal with energy bills for indigent hardship cases," Matthews said.

Matthews says he has been in contact with Alabama Power and Spire. He says both utilities are committed to working with people to help with their bills.

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