Neighbors band together when 74-year-old woman's gas is shut off
HAM LAKE, Minn. (KMSP) - A group of Ham Lake neighbors turned into advocates for a 74-year-old woman when her gas was turned off on a cold January day.
Dustin Reichert and another neighbor were snow blowing their driveways Tuesday afternoon when they saw a Center Point Energy worker approach their neighbor’s home.
“We both stopped at the same time and said, who’s that?” said Reichert. “Nothing goes on without us knowing about it.”
Sandy Levesseur lives alone on 133rd Lane Northeast and has been dealing with health issues, so the neighbors try and check on her frequently.
Tuesday they watched as her gas was shut off, on a day when temperatures dipped below zero with wind chill. Several of them immediately got on the phone with Center Point Energy, while others gathered space heaters to keep her warm through the night.
Levesseur, who is on social security, admits she was behind on her bills.
“I only get paid once a month and sometimes it’s hard,” said Levesseur. “I try to give them something, but it’s never enough for them.”
“Like every other person I thought, winter, you don’t shut the gas off,” said one of the neighbors who called Center Point Energy to complain.
Due to privacy restrictions, Center Point Energy can’t comment on Levesseur’s situation. However, the energy company said in order to take advantage of the Cold Weather Rule, customers who are struggling to pay their bills must contact the company and sign up for a payment plan.
Her neighbors have since started a GoFundMe page, hoping to help Levesseur pay off her debt with the energy company. So far, they have raised more than enough to get her by.