Particularly during the hot summer months in the desert areas and the weeks in the winter of extreme cold, poor families have serious worries about the cost of utilities. Despite all efforts to reduce their energy use during the month, often their utility bills are simply unaffordable. So when the bills arrive, families pay what they can and live in fear of a utility shut-off. Then to avoid a shut-off, they are often short on their rent or have less money for food for the family. Helping families in a crunch pay their utilities will prevent a financial spiral from which they are unable to recover on their own.