Unexpected situations can make it difficult to pay utility bills.
For this reason, in 2003, the BPU set up a fund, now known as the John Alfred & Oscar Johnson Memorial Trust/BPU Good Neighbor Fund. In 2015, the fund was expanded to help customers of any income level who:
Receive no Social Services assistance for utility bills.
Maintain or attempt to maintain a regular bill payment record.
Who experience a sudden hardship.
Examples of hardships (not limited to these examples):
An unknown leak in your plumbing that results in a high water bill quickly.
An accident or sudden illness that could tie up your regular income for a period of time.
Sudden unemployment that could prevent you from paying BPU bills right away.
Immediate house repairs that leave you with utility bills you can’t pay on time.
How to apply?
Call the Salvation Army at 664-4108 to make an appointment. The Salvation Army is located in Brooklyn Square at 81 South Main Street, Jamestown. A very short simple form is required stating your hardship with a copy of your BPU bill. The process is quick and easy.
The Salvation Army verifies your hardship, then the BPU qualifies your consistent payment record before final approval is made.
How can the fund help?
The fund can provide up to a one-time $250 payment on your bill, limited to one payment a year.
Aid is one a first-come, first-served basis. At any time, income from the Fund may be depleted and assistance may not be available.
Who were John Alfred and Oscar Johnson?
John Alfred Johnson immigrated to Jamestown from Sweden to live near his brother Oscar who worked as a contractor in our area. John worked for a local manufacturer in the day and for Oscar at night.
Although he became an American citizen, John was proud of his Swedish heritage and thought of himself and his friends as the “working man.” He labored hard, saving and investing his money. To take effect upon his death, he created the Johnson Foundation which Jamestown Swedish Consul and Attorney John Sellstrom and his wife Carole, operated in accordance with Johnson’s wishes. They endowed the John Alfred and Oscar Johnson Memorial Trust/BPU Good Neighbor Fund in December, 2014, to be held in perpetuity at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
The Salvation Army – one of John Alfred Johnson’s favorite charitable organizations –verifies your hardship.