In March 2020, due to the stressors of the pandemic, the Navajo Nation waived and extended utility payments. But recently, that moratorium was lifted, leaving utility customers scrambling to come up with their owed amounts. This sudden change is expected to impact many households nationwide, especially those surviving on little income. When one surviving military spouse received her cut-off notice due to this change, she looked to Diné Naazbaa Partnership (DNP) for support.
Martha Singer Boyd, a 76 years-old surviving military spouse from Kayenta, AZ, first heard of DNP during the Western Agency food drive. When Martha received word that her utilities are at risk of being shut off, she immediately contacted DNP. Martha told DNP Community Coordination Associate Karen Shirley about her situation, and that the local chapter government had depleted funds and could not assist her. She expressed fear of being disconnected from the power that supports her life-saving devices and enduring the remainder of the cold months with a lack of heat.
Karen urgently entered Martha’s information into the DNP database to begin searching for resources available to her. After spending quite some time sifting through resources and having no luck, it seemed like hope was lost. Then, late Friday afternoon, DNP received a call. A contact from a local partner, Veterans First, stated that they were prepared to pay Martha’s utility balance. This news was an incredible relief to DNP and Martha. We are grateful to have a network of partners willing to lend a helping hand to Navajo warriors like Martha.
The Navajo Nation is stronger when our veterans are stronger. Connect with DNP to learn more about how you can give back to the Navajo veteran community by visiting our website and completing an online form: http://dinenaazbaapartnership.org/