Did you know that you can conveniently self-apply online? If your services are on and you do not have a disconnect notice, an appointment is not required!  

We invite you to apply now by clicking the link APPLY ON-LINEThis site will also provide information on how to apply by mail.  


If you wish to schedule an appointment, please note that appointment scheduling is reserved for clients who meet one or more of the following: 

  • Services are already off 

  • Services are in disconnect status 

  • Need to establish new service 

  • Need to transfer service 

  • Have a PIPP default with disconnection

All crisis appointments are conducted by phone. You do not need to visit an office.


Please note - We are unable to process any application for assistance without all of the required documents. Submitting is easy and you may conveniently submit your documents now, or at a later time, using the document upload link. If preferred, you may email your documents to Heapdocuments@stepforwardtoday.org. Please be aware emailing can take up to three days, so ensure that you are allowing yourself enough time. You must submit documents not later than 1 week prior to your appointment date, or you may be required to reschedule.

Crisis assistance programs are available as follows:  

  • Assistance for gas/electric heating is available during the Winter Crisis Program which runs Nov. 1st - March 31st  

  • Assistance for electric/cooling is available during the Summer Crisis Program which runs July 1st - September 30th.   

  • Assistance for water/sewer is available during the LIHWAP Program, available now through March 31, 2024  

List of required Documents Details: 

We require the documents below. Failure to submit all the required documentation for your appointment will delay your assistance.  

  • Photo ID: required for each name listed on the gas and/or electric bill 

  • Social Security Cards: required for all household members. Accepted forms include printouts from Social Security with full SS# on them, Medicare Cards, and OWF SNAP printouts 

  • Birth Certificates for all household members are required; newborn birth letter is acceptable, anyone else in the household needs a birth certificate on file 

  • Current gas, electric, water and sewer bills:   If bills are in the landlord's name, a lease is required to demonstrate tenant responsibility. 

  • Proof of Income is required for the last 30 days for all household members 18 years of age and older. Acceptable documents include SSA, SSI and SSDI award letters, Pension statement, Child Support, Utility Assistance documents 

    • Individuals paid weekly need the last 4 paystubs 

    • Individuals paid bi-weekly need 2-3 paystubs (make sure you have all paystubs for the last 30 days) 

    • Individuals paid semi-monthly need 2 paystubs 

    • Individuals paid month need 1 paystub 

    • If paystubs are not available, you will need verification of your income from your employer (i.e., a printout of your last 30 days of pay) 

    • Seasonal employees are required to provide 12 months of income documentation - if paystubs are not available, a printout from your employer is required 

  • No Income: If the household has no income, or no verifiable income, you will need the following: 

    • IRS Tax Transcript 

    • If you file a tax return, you can call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 

    • If you did not file a return, you can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 

    • You can go to the IRS website at www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript 

    • You can visit the IRS office in the Federal Building at 1240 East 9th St. Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. 

  • Download the English application here

  • Download the Spanish application here

Please note, after reviewing your documents we may request additional information/documentation to complete your application. 
 Visit CHN Housing Partners Scheduler Site 


Step Forward seeks to reduce poverty and help low-income citizens of Cuyahoga County, OH to meet critical needs and become self-sufficient.

Locations of Step Forward Energy Assistance sites

  • Step Forward Main is located at 2203 Superior Ave, 2nd Floor, Cleveland, OH 44114
  • Middleburg Neighborhood Opportunity Center is located at 6886 Pearl Road, Middleburg Heights, OH 44130
  • Southeast Neighborhood Opportunity Center is located at 4834 Richmond Road, Warrensville Heights, OH 44128
  • May Dugan Center is located at 4115 Bridge Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113

Within minutes of making your appointment, you should receive a confirmation email with a calendar appointment attached to the email. In addition, you will also receive a phone reminder the day before your appointment.

Appointments can be changed or canceled at any time on this website. You can also make or cancel an appointment at any time (24/7) using our automated phone system by dialing (216) 350-8008 and following the instructions.