Stimulus in Action: Weatherization in MA
Bonnie's husband died three years ago in 2007, after a long fight with terminal cancer. During that period, Bonnie was also diagnosed with cancer but she was able to beat her illness into remission. But her husband's illness and passing and Bonnie's own struggles left her without a source of income and struggling to pay her bills.
When Bonnie's boiler broke last year, she knew she couldn't afford to replace it.
"I was desperate," she said. I would have had to leave my house. It's my only link. I would have freaked out."
But then Bonnie learned about the North Shore Community Action Programs' (NSCAP) weatherization program. Bonnie was receiving fuel assistance through the anti-poverty agency and her counselor there told her she might qualify for weatherization services.
"Our window to weatherization is through fuel assistance," said Beth Hogan, executive director of NSCAP.
For Bonnie, the program meant that she could continue to live in her home. In addition to a new boiler, contractor Darren Palm of Salem-based Atlantic Weatherization provided her with new windows, insulation and wrapping on her pipes. "It's made an amazing difference," said Bonnie. "I'm saving on fuel bills and it's warm. I feel very blessed. There are so many people like me out there. This program is very important."