Due to high volume of requests, Project Bravo halts new applications for assistance services Friday

Officials with Project BRAVO announced Thursday that the organization will stop accepting new applications for services, such as utility assistance, starting on January 22, 2021, at 4:30 PM.

“Project BRAVO has received an extremely high volume of applications for services since 2021 began, and as a result, the organization will implement a new process of opening and closing the application process to ensure that new applications are processed in a timely manner,” program officials shared via a news release.

Officials say that families needing assistance must wait for Open Application Periods in order to submit applications for services. Additionally, Project BRAVO is working with utility providers to ensure customers have options to delay disconnections until the Open Application Period begins.

“Through new technology and increased funding, we have expanded our capacity to screen applications compared to 2020, but the process still is very labor intensive. We are reaching the limits of our ability to review incoming applications and respond in a timely manner of 2-4 weeks. If we continue to accept applications, the time it takes for us to respond to applicants will exceed six weeks which may create a bigger crisis in the household,” states Laura Ponce, Executive Director for Project BRAVO.

The Open Application Periods will be as follows and Project BRAVO will provide an updated Open Application Period schedule no later than April 16, 2021, for future months:

February 15, 2021 – March 5, 2021,

March 29, 2021 – April 16, 2021

In 2020, Project BRAVO assisted approximately 7,500 families with $7.6 million in utility assistance funds. Project BRAVO has received more than 2,500 applications since January 4, 2021.

During the Closed Application Periods, low-income families are encouraged to call their utility provider to request a payment plan or other arrangements to avoid disconnection.

Once the Open Application Period begins, low-income families can apply online or pick up an application at one of six Project BRAVO centers.