The Helix Helps Customer Assistance Program starts today, April 5, and offers a one-time credit of up to $300 to help Helix Water District’s residential customers who live in a single-family home, are behind on their water bill and can demonstrate loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The district is partnering with Home Start, a local nonprofit organization, to administer the program. Helix customers can apply for assistance online at home-start.org or at Home Start’s El Cajon office at 333 East Main Street in El Cajon. Customers with questions can reach Home Start at 619-380-6564 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When they apply, customers need to provide documentation that their household experienced a loss of income directly related to COVID-19. The full list of criteria and accepted documentation is available at home-start.org. Assistance is available on a first come, first served basis. Home Start will contact applicants based on when they received their application.
Helix customers should also note that the application period for County of San Diego’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program has been extended. Applications will be accepted until funds are no longer available. For more information, go to www.SDHCD.org.
“This is Helix Water District’s first ever customer assistance program and I am really pleased that we found a way to make it happen,” said Helix Board President Joel Scalzitti. “Please reach out to family, friends and neighbors who may be in need of this assistance and let them know about our program.”
Because the district is legally prohibited from using water rates to assist customers, the board dedicated $500,000 from surplus land sales to fund the program. The Helix Helps Customer Assistance Program is expected to assist at least 1,400 households in need.
In March 2020, the Helix board voted to suspend late fees and shutoffs for nonpayment. In April 2020, they froze water rates.
“The board has continuously looked for ways to help our customers through the pandemic,” said Helix General Manager Carlos Lugo. “We are doing what we can to support the communities we serve.”
Helix Water District provides water storage, treatment, distribution and conservation for the 277,000 people living in the La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and El Cajon communities in San Diego’s east county suburbs.