Lorraine Horton: Changing the game by keeping the lights on

GameChangers 2022: Honoring people who are making a difference in communities of color
Lorraine Horton
Lorraine Horton Photo credit Courtesy of Lorraine Horton

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — When Lorraine Horton first joined the Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA), an organization that creates lasting solutions to the energy problems of low-income Philadelphians, the stories she first heard were heartbreaking.

“That first day was devastating because I must have talked to maybe 25 or 30 people who had no heat and they were living alone. This one lady says, ‘I’m sleeping in the kitchen, I slept in the kitchen for two winters,’ ” she recalled.

Horton, director of community programs, said ECA works as the bridge between the community and the utility companies and other resources.

After hearing those testimonials, Horton knew she was in it for the long haul. She began to work weekends to help people keep the lights on.

“[We] tried to help people just keep them out of the shutoff status and try to make their homes comfortable for their families that they don’t wake up in the cold,” she said.

But it doesn’t stop there. Horton goes above and beyond the call of duty, also delivering food for seniors whenever she can.

“I will go and pick up a box for a couple of seniors that I’m able to get out [to], and they really appreciate it when they see my little white van pull up,” she said.

During Black History Month, KYW Newsradio’s GameChangers honors 10 individuals or organizations that have made a significant, positive impact in communities of color in the greater Philadelphia region. KYW community affairs reporter Racquel Williams will host an evening honoring this year’s awardees on Feb. 24. View a full list of 2022 honorees below.