INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Just before 9 a.m. Thursday, a steady stream of people stood outside Community Action of Greater Indianapolis .
Those in line waited in the cold, some sat in folding chairs, as they watched for the doors to open at the office on 3200 block of North Meridian Street. Every day, only the first ten people in line will be seen by heating assistance workers. The rest must schedule an appointment and come back at a later date and time.
"They turned me away," said Dorris Smith. "I had to make an appointment. I thought I had already made an appointment."
Without a scheduled visit, Smith thought her only other option was to be one of the first of ten people to be in line when the CAGI office reopens on Friday.
Call centers have been swamped as people call in need of heating assistance. Over the last couple of months workers have processed hundreds of applications for federal aid just to help keep homes heated.
Thursday, the United Way announced that five local donors donated a total of $265,000 to help keep Hoosiers warm.
Mayor Greg Ballard and other city leaders were in attendance to help kick off the announcement for the 2013 Winter Assistance campaign .
"The program helps people who have household incomes that is 150 percent above the poverty guideline. What that means on a practical level is that we're talking about a family of four that earns about $34,000 a year," said Christie Gillespie with United Way.
If you know someone who needs heating assistance you can call the Community Action of Greater Indianapolis at 317-396-1800 or Connect2Help 2-1-1 .
The snow heading toward Central Indiana comes during a major weekend in downtown Indianapolis.
A team of Indiana University experts is helping NASA with its ongoing mission to keep tabs on Earth's vast polar ice sheets.
Carmel High School took over the Colts Complex for a night.