Hammond helps clients with energy assistance

Written by Bruce Lindner. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on December 07, 2011 with No Comments

Carol Hammond brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Porter County Aging and Community Services’ clients who seek help from the Energy Assistance Program. For the past seven years, she has been helping guide those eligible individuals who need energy assistance through the application process.

“I have actually worked with the program since 1979 as I used to work at the Newton County Aging and Community Services,” she said. “I started out as the secretary and ended up as director, but I always worked with the energy assistance program.”

She took on the part-time position with PCACS when former director Marion McDougall approached her and inquired if she would give the agency a hand since McDougall’s secretary had retired.

“I’ve been here ever since,” Hammond said. “I love working with people and that’s part of why I still work. Plus, I can’t stand being at home by myself.”

The biggest change in the program through the years has been the switch to an online format.

“In the beginning, the biggest challenge was all of the paperwork that had to be sent to the state,” she said. “Now, we have updated training every year.”

She said there can be challenges assisting those who speak a foreign language, who don’t read or write or who have hearing loss but the position remains rewarding.

“There can be challenges to communicate, but it is so worthwhile as they are always grateful,” she said. “I was working with an individual who was deaf and mute and when she got ready to leave she came over and hugged me and there were tears running down her face.”

Hammond has two children: Allen Hammond, who is the transit program compliance officer at NIRPC, and Veronica Price, who works for an insurance company in California. In her free time, Hammond enjoys doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles and reading books and she recently began quilting.

Weather reminder

With the winter season upon us and experts looking toward a cold and snowy winter, we want to remind the community on how to keep up on our office closings and interruptions in transportation service.

We also want to emphasize that we don’t necessarily follow what the school systems decide when it comes to closings.

We often make separate decisions about whether our offices will be open and whether our buses will run. Sometimes we keep our offices open for guests and individuals with appointments but we stop our transportation services.

We carefully monitor road conditions as our buses don’t operate well on slippery roads and some county roads. Also, our clients aren’t always able to clear their driveways or sidewalks in order to safely be picked up for a ride.

To stay informed on weather information, listen to any of the following radio stations: Indiana 105.5 FM, Z-107.1 FM or 1500 AM-WAKE. 

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About Bruce Lindner

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle.  Bruce Lindner has worked in the not-for-profit world for more than 25 years and has been executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Services for five. A native of the Region, he was raised in Portage and he graduated from Valparaiso University. You can call him at 219-464-9736 or e-mail at bhlindner@frontier.com.

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