Help in the Heat.

The summer heat is stretching several Texomans pocket books thin. Many Nocona residents are needing help paying their utility bills.

A Hand Up in Nocona did not get the $9,000 in FEMA funding this year or last year. That money is specifically used to help Montague County residents who need help paying bills.

Dave Leonard, President of Grace Place and A Hand Up, said, "There's always a need for money to pay utilities, and its gotten worse since the temperature has come up."

Leonard said A Hand Up is currently servicing 235 families weekly with food assistance. He said people need the help. "It's the highest so far and the sad thing is we don't see any end to it. The jobs are not available."

Leonard said he wishes the organization could help out even more, like it use to. "We used the FEMA money for utility assistance, rental assistance and medication assistance. Leonard added, "We still try to do that as much as we can through private donations."

A Hand Up will refer all residents in need of assistance to Ministerial Alliance in Nocona. The alliance of churches has been able to help people out by paying a portion of their utility bills.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6