It’s Communtiy Action Week. Read About Our Participants!

 A St. Paul nurse who had helped so many others, gets help from Energy Assistance.

Ruth Ann, a longtime nurse in St. Paul, was diagnosed with degenerative blindness in 2004.  Ruth Ann enjoyed her fulfilling career as a nurse and was an active woman of 54.  “I was an avid jogger and would often join marathons with friends,” Ruth Ann said.  She was finding it dangerous to drive and her career of caring for people was becoming extremely difficult.  “It was devastating and I became increasingly worried what I was going to do,” she said.

Ruth Ann eventually had to give up her career and for the next few years, she lived off her retirement savings until they were almost exhausted.  Through the help of friends, she was able to move into an assisted living apartment for low-income residents, but was concerned about her financial situation.  “I always prided myself on being frugal, conserving energy and keeping my bills low and credit score intact.  But when I added it up, I knew I couldn’t make it without help,” said Ruth Ann.

One of her health assistants noticed an Energy Assistance Program flyer from Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties and suggested she apply.  With the help of the assistant, she filled out the application and was relieved to see she could get some help to lower her energy bills during the winter.  She said, “I just couldn’t believe how quickly Community Action responded with a letter explaining how much each month they would credit her energy company’s account.  Being alone and in my situation, without that help I just didn’t know what I was going to do.”

Ruth Ann still lives in her small apartment with her dog Pikachu.  She is still frugal and conserves energy.  And she is still extremely grateful for the support she receives from Community Action.