EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Starting at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Project BRAVO will stop accepting new applications for services, like utility assistance, due to a large volume of applications that have come in 2021.
A new system, called Open Application Periods, will be implemented so applications can be processed in a timely manner. Families needing assistance must wait for Open Application Periods in order to submit applications for services.
“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,” said Laura Ponce, Executive Director for Project BRAVO. “We are reaching the limits of our ability to review incoming applications and respond in a timely manner of two to four 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.”
The organization is working with utility providers to ensure customers have options to delay disconnections until the Open Application Period begins. However, during the Closed Application Periods, applicants are encouraged to call their utility provider to request a payment plan or other arrangements to avoid disconnection.
The Open Application Periods will be as follows and Project BRAVO will provide an updated Open Application Period schedule no later than April 16 for future months:
- Jan. 4 to Jan. 22
- Feb. 15 to March 5
- March 29 to April 16
According to Project BRAVO, approximately 7,500 families with $7.6 million in utility assistance funds were assisted in 2020. Project BRAVO has received more than 2,500 applications since Jan. 4.
Once the Open Application Period begins, low-income families can apply online at www.projectbravo.org or pick up an application at one of six Project BRAVO centers listed below:
- Central: 2000 Texas Ave., El Paso, TX 79901
- Westside: 7000 5th St., Canutillo, TX 79835
- Northeast: 8815 Dyer St., Suite 300, El Paso, TX 79904
- Eastside: 14901 Whitetail Deer Dr., El Paso, TX 79938
- Ysleta: 8908 Old County Rd., El Paso, TX 79907
- Lower Valley: 13680 Socorro Rd., San Elizario, TX 79849