Out in the cold: Pandemic leaves more people in need of energy assistance, but also harder to reach.

Many undocumented households are ineligible for federal-funded state program and need to seek out locally run efforts.

Unemployment levels remain high due to the coronavirus pandemic, and temperatures have plunged below zero from a February polar vortex blast. But state officials say they have received fewer requests than normal for a program to help low-income families cover heating bills.

The pandemic also is disrupting typical outreach efforts into communities of color, where the need is often the greatest. Others who could benefit from the program are not eligible because they are undocumented. Read more.