Federal Funds Create Jobs, Weatherize Homes In West Texas

by Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

WEST TEXAS - Federal stimulus dollars are on the way to help dozens of residents stay warm here in the Permian Basin. Starting next week, West Texas Opportunities will gear up to start weatherizing homes. As NewsWest 9 first reported, West Texas Opportunities is just one of several local organizations gearing up to use millions of dollars in stimulus funding. A lot of that money will be used this year.

Starting next week, West Texas Opportunities and their contractors will start work across 14 Counties. The goal is to use the five million dollars to help families weatherize, which will in turn, reduce their energy costs. Depending on the person, the group will help insulating, weather stripping, caulking, or replacing doors and windows. Directors said it's a chance to help the hundreds of low-income residents on their list.

"We monitor the utility bills after we have completed the home just to see how we've improved the efficiency and now we've lowered those utility bills and many times it's as much as 40 percent. So, it is quite a savings and we feel live, we are certainly doing a service for the community as well as for those families that we're serving," Janet Everheart, Executive Director with West Texas Opportunities, Inc, explained.

Everheart said their organization is also using the stimulus money to hire more staff. She said the five million dollars total is the most West Texas Opportunities has ever received.