"There's no shame or stigma in reaching out for help."
We'll be sharing similar stories about more Spire customers who received help from weatherization funds across Missouri. To learn more about services available, visit SpireEnergy.com/Weatherization.
When a career opportunity for his wife brought Stephen's family from California to Missouri six years ago, Stephen went to work for the City of Joplin—after all, he’d been doing similar work in planning and development out west for the past four years.
Then budget cuts led to layoffs in 2020, and Stephen lost his job. But he never lost his faith or his desire to help others. He became a pastor with a local church and soon realized he was now in need of the same assistance and services he’d been helping others access for the past 10 years.
Plus, the family had grown since first arriving in Joplin. Stephen and his wife now had twin two- and half-year-old boys and a newborn to care for. While their commitment to making a difference provided meaningful reward, the single income they were living on couldn’t provide for all their expenses including the need for a home to accommodate their growing family. Stephen, purposeful in his efforts to renew older neighborhoods that were falling into disrepair, found an older home to restore.
“It was old home—a BIG, old home,” Stephen stressed. “An absolute utility nightmare.”
Because of his prior work in community development, Stephen knew the Weatherization Assistance Program was available to help eligible individuals and families with limited-incomes make energy efficient improvements to homes and save money on utility bills—something he and his family could definitely use. He completed the program application and certified to receive assistance.
When the crew arrived on site a few months after his approval and assessment, they got right to work—replacing every light bulb with LED bulbs, installing smoke detectors, sealing windows and weather-stripping doors. The family's home already had enough insulation, but the crew fine-tuned the entire HVAC system and wrapped duct work to ensure no heat could escape.
“I can’t say enough good things about the workers—they were very respectful, worked from the time they arrived each day until it was time to go and cleaned up after themselves every time,” Stephen said. “They were great.”
Stephen and his family moved from the home about a year after the weatherization project was completed. They recently moved into another older home in another neighborhood in Joplin and look forward to making similar improvements here, too.
A few things that Stephen would like to share with everyone as he reflects on his experience is to know that there is no shame or stigma in seeking help when you need it—the program and resources are there and available—you just need to reach out and the agencies and companies like Spire will reach back to connect you with the resources you need to move forward.