The Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP) is a two-year program that provides funding to eligible, low-income homeowners to assist with water bills, water conservation, and self-sufficiency initiatives. We have had the pleasure of serving the people of our community through this program and we want to share their stories through our Client Testimonial series.
This testimonial comes from Patrick Heit, a Wayne Metro WRAPfinity Client. WRAPfinity is an extension of our WRAP program that allows eligible clients to continue with monthly credits after successfully completing years 1 and 2 of WRAP.
“I was receiving disability benefits, and I did not have enough money coming into my household to pay my bills, and everything fell behind. My water bill was close to $900 in arrears, and I knew at any time my water could be shut off. Eventually, my water was shut off due to non-payment. My wife, three children, and I were without water for three months, and we had to use a water hose that connected from our neighbor’s home to our home so that we would have running water. Every day was difficult, and there were evenings that our family was thankful just to have a roof over our heads.
It was a true blessing that I learned about the WRAP Program in 2015 when it first rolled out. I was excited to learn how this new program could help me, and as soon as open enrollment became available, I was informed that I was eligible for assistance. I was enrolled in WRAP’s very first 12-month program. It seemed like I could finally see light at the end of the tunnel because I was going to receive much-needed help. I was able to save $50 each month on my water bill.
After being enrolled in the Program for two full years, I contacted Wayne Metro and asked if there were any changes made to the enrollment requirements because I was hoping for an opportunity to re-enroll in WRAP. Less than three weeks, I was informed that due to recent changes within the Program, I was eligible for a third-year re-enrollment, and would be in the WRAPFinity Program.
In December 2020, I determined that I just could not provide the required lump sum payment, so the water bill would be paid and full. During Christmas, I received a letter and an email message from Wayne Metro stating that my $1,000 balance was paid by a donor. When I first read the letter, I sat at my dining room table and cried. I felt so thankful, because I didn’t owe anything, and my water would not be shut off. I was in such shock that I called Wayne Metro to confirm that the bill was really paid off.
In the beginning, it was very hard for me to ask someone to help me, my pride is very stubborn. My family has always worked, and we managed to figure out a way to do things. But when push comes to shove, and you have kids, and you’re on disability, and can’t handle your bills. You have no choice, but to allow someone to help you.
The Agency is a lifesaver, and Wayne Metro’s Basic Needs Manager, Staci White is consistent, and she listens to me even if I repeat myself. When someone mentions to me that they have fallen on hard times, I recommend Wayne Metro, you are my go-to Agency.”