It's a tough road for many when the ice-cold weather of a Michigan Winter hits and those big heating bills arrive. What is one to do when there just isn't enough money to go around? And, it could be worse if your gas/electricity gets shut off because you couldn't pay the bill.

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Guess what? You and your family don't have to be cold and unsafe because there is help!

The THAW FUND is a wonderful program that offers heat and electricity assistance for homes that contain elderly, children, unemployed, underemployed and disabled individuals who find themselves in an energy crisis.

Cold home, freezing family, mother and son, Wrapped In Blanket Sitting Near Heater
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Also there is the Michigan Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) program available. This fund also assists low-income households who meet all State Emergency Relief (SER) eligibility requirements so they may receive assistance to help them with household heat and electric costs. LIHEAP funds are also used for the Home Heating Credit (HHC), administered through the Michigan Department of Treasury and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).

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The EmPower Heat and Energy Assistance Program, provides heat and energy assistance to qualified families throughout Michigan counties by assisting households with heat related utility bills, deliverable fuels, and energy conservation initiatives. TrueNorth's emPower heat and energy program serves low-income clients with their past-due utility bills in all 83 counties Michigan.

Man hands with bills and money
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There truly is a lot of help out there for those who will need assistance this winter. You do have to apply and each of the above programs has a link that I provided so just click on it to apply.

LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]

Gallery Credit: Bethany Adams

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