PG County’s DSS Partners to Provide Quality Service to County Residents Seeking Relief from the High Cost of Energy

Landover, MD- On July 5, 2011 the State of Maryland began serving customers for the 2011 – 2012 Office of Home Energy Programs’ (OHEP) Energy Assistance Program operated locally by the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services. This year the agency temporarily moved intake operations to Thomas Pullen School for the Performing Arts to accommodate the anticipated number of residents applying for assistance.   “This collaborative effort marks a watershed event for our energy program,” said Gloria L. Brown, Director of the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services.  “We reengineered our systems to develop a customer-centered, staff-directed program that allowed the agency to quadruple normal processing/intake capacity, provided additional space for customers and incorporated consumer education through our on-site service providers and conservation organizations.”

Thomas Pullen School for the Performing Arts opened its doors to 1,500 county residents that were served over a four-day period.  The multipurpose room set the stage for the array of computers, printers and copiers required to support the projected amount of customer information entered into the OHEP data system.  “This was a breeze,’ said one satisfied customer.  “It usually takes more time, but parking was easy and the inside gave us more space.  The staff was so helpful. They had even set up a children’s table with free books for kids to take home.  That’s customer service!”

The Department of Social Services worked closely with school administration to ensure that the location, only a quarter mile away from the agency’s 425 Brightseat Road location, was easily accessible for residents.  “We were pleased to be able to assist in this endeavor,” said Pamela Lucas, Principal of Thomas Pullen, “Anytime that we can educate and support families in need, we are improving the quality of life for children in Prince George’s County.”

The following partners provided customers with energy saving tips on conservation, weatherization and more:  BG&E, Pepco, Washington Gas, Positive Energy (alternative energy supplier), Diversified Housing, Clean Currents, Sierra Club Maryland Chapter, Chesapeake and Greenbelt Climate Action Network

The Prince George’s County Department of Social Services Community Services Division offers assistance to County residents who are eligible to qualify for the Energy Assistance Program, Homeless Services, Eviction Prevention, Volunteer Services and the Summer Food Program (For Summer Food site information call 1-877-731-9300).  For more information or if you are interested in applying for services, please call 301-909-6330.

Filed in: Economic Assistance, Local News, Prince George's County

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