CAP-K Brings Financial Resources to Local Communities

CAP-K continues to flow through Kern County, showing families and individuals how easy it can be receive financial assistance all by simply showing up.
Posted at 11:38 AM, Jan 19, 2024
  • Video shows the effort has CAP-K has put to ensure that Kern County residents are given the opportunity to receive financial assistance when it comes to their water bills.
  • Like McFarland resident Jasmine Caballos who attended the event to seek help with her water bills to ease her mom of financial stress.

Since the Summer of 2022, CAP-K Energy has worked hard to relieve financial stress for Kern County residents regarding their water bill. Holding various pop-up events like this one in McFarland, organizers tell me there isn’t much time left, so if you need help, the time is now.

"Since it was a new program, there was slow but growing public interest, and as of the last 4 or 5 months it has really caught fire. So, in 2023 we've helped around 3,000 families or individuals pay off bills,” said Energy Program Administrator for CAP-K Wilfredo Cruz Jr..

Cruz says that's the equivalent of paying off $2.1 million in water bills. Cruz says seeing such success from the program, he is blessed knowing that he plays a role in ensuring qualifying families are relieved of financial stress.

"We've paid bills up to $1,200 so you think about that you know what can that money be used for,” said Cruz. “It's the whole benefit that they're receiving not just the fiscal portion but it allows you know this program to be successful and help out so many people."

The Low Income Housing Assistance Water Program, also known as LIHWAP, is a one-time benefit for families and individuals that are considered low-income by government guidelines; receiving financial assistance to pay their bills.

Cruz says these pop-up events essentially bring the resources to the community — all people have to do is show up.

That's the case for McFarland resident Jasmine Caballos who showed up to the most recent water bill assistance event held in McFarland to try and relieve her mom of financial stress.

"My mom's been getting the water bill and she's been showing me how high they are and she's saying it's too hard for her to pay all of them,” said Caballos. “It would mean a lot because since the water bill is really high it would be able to get some stress off our shoulders and it would be able to help us a lot."

Caballos says she's grateful to even have the opportunity to apply for financial help and says if she does qualify, she would use the extra money to help pay for things like rent, food, and other bills.

Cruz says the program has grown tremendously since its original launch. Initially, CAP-K was focused solely on residents who were late paying their water bills, but now it's grown to qualifying residents who are also able to receive credit in their accounts depending on household size and income.

With these events providing fast results, Cruz once again wants to remind people about the importance of attending before time runs out.

"At these events it's instant, that's why these events are so major and it's big for residents who show up — that show up to these events because obviously we can take care of it there instead of the back and forth the having to get a callback, the having to make sure your documents are correct, not correct,” said Cruz.

The next water bill assistance event will be held on Tuesday, January 30 in Arvin. It's free, just bring a valid ID, your social security card, your most recent water bill and your household income from the last 30 days.

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