While funding levels and resources are limited, the Camden County Council on Economic Opportunity (OEO) works to help the low income make it through a difficult period. Short term financial assistance may be paid out, referrals are offered to government benefits such as section 8, and case managers partner with clients on self-sufficiency.
The programs greatly depend on the availability of private and government grants. When possible, the non-profit community action agency will help the unemployed that have a plan to regain self-sufficiency, assistance is for seniors, the disabled, and others from the Camden County New Jersey community.
New Jersey SHARES Program is formally known as the Statewide Heating Assistance and Referral for Energy Services. This is available across the state and in Camden County. The agency will try to provide energy assistance and financial help to low income families and individuals in Camden County. Grants and funds can be used for temporary help in paying electric, water, and natural gas bills. Even if someone didn’t qualify for LIHEAP then they may still be eligible for New Jersey SHARES. Residents can apply at any time in the year as it runs year round. Call (856) 964-6887 for more details.
Emergency financial assistance can be issued depending upon the availability of grants and funds. Camden County Council on Economic Opportunity (OEO) provides those that qualify with free food, emergency rent payment or relocation assistance, and referral services. They can also direct clients to someone to talk to in order to discuss your situation. Call either (856) 772-9100 or 856) 964-6887.
Conserve energy from Universal Service Program or Weatherization. Between these two resources, they provide consumers with a variety of energy-saving measures that include efficient hot water heaters, heating systems, refrigerators and air-sealing solutions. In addition, as funding allows and for those that qualify, they may receive a refrigerator replacement, installation of florescent light bulbs, repair or replacement of broken or inefficient furnace, boiler, or hot water heater, new windows and/or outside door(s) may also be provided to homeowners.
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is paid for by the state and federal government. It offers financial aid for paying the ever increasing costs of utility bills. With proof of a medical need from a doctor, cooling assistance or maybe a free fan is also available to qualified applicants, in particular seniors. (856) 910-1180.
The Camden County Homeless Prevention Programs will supplement local, federal government and state of New Jersey efforts to help families and individuals remain in their apartments or homes. It is extensive assistance that allows clients to catch up on paying their back rent, mortgage and even utility bills. All of this aid will help people avoiding evictions.
This rental assistance is not for everyone and comes with conditions. For example, staff from Camden County Council on Economic Opportunity will require that applicants can provide they can make their own rent or mortgage payments after receiving assistance.
Foreclosure Prevention and Housing Counseling provides free advice and services to prevent clients from losing their permanent home. The non-profit community action agency offers counseling services to prevent or resolve mortgage delinquency issues, stop defaults and more. Other counseling includes foreclosure and relocation prevention counseling and help with home maintenance needs. Assistance is provided to Camden residents for past due mortgage payments. Each client who seeks any type of counseling must also commit to creating a budget and housing plan that is goal oriented. The office can be reached at (856) 964-6887.
Anyone who goes through rent assistance or housing counseling most also attend case management services. These can assist residents from losing their permanent housing and/or having their utility service disconnected or shut off. Some of these services include, but are not limited to employment, health education, low income housing and other services. If a client is successful, they may be able to receive past due rent or mortgage payments, security deposits for apartments, or even past due utility bill charges. Phone (856) 772-9100.
Low income housing is available from Camden County OEO and they are the Sheridan Apartment units. The apartments provide affordable rents to those that qualify. Call (856) 541-4422.
Transitional and Supportive Housing is for women with children and single moms. Through referrals, the Urban Women’s Center also assists and houses women with alcohol and/or drug addiction. Assistance and housing is also for victims of domestic violence.
Men can also receive help as well. Another program, known as OMAR, serves homeless men and those facing eviction. It can arrange them to get permanent housing, attend counseling and coordinate job readiness programs. Telephone number is (856) 964-6887.
The TRUE Program, or Temporary Relief for Utility Expenses, provides utility bill assistance for economically disadvantaged and also moderate-income households. Funds and grants are for those that are struggling to pay off a past due balance on their natural gas and/or electric account. A one time cash grant can be provided by Camden County Council on Economic Opportunity (OEO) or the state to those that qualify for aid. Call (856) 964-6887 to apply.
Save money from the Dollar-to-Dollar IDA Program, also known nationally as the Individual Development Account (IDA). It provides the opportunity for families and individuals to achieve greater self-sufficiency and long term economic stability through owning a home, going to college, or starting a business. Not only will participants get matching grants on their savings, but OEO will also arrange for individualized case management, business/technical planning assistance, and economic educational courses as needed.
The Camden County Summer Youth Employment Program is for students age 17 and younger. Participating youth from Camden County receive orientation for work and training in expectations prior to internship job placements, interviewing skills, appropriate on-the-job behavior and resume writing. Call (856) 964-6887.
Urban Women's Center offers Camden County females with employment and computer training. It is coordinated and provided along with several other comprehensive services and case management.
Through the community action agencies Job Readiness Program and many other fully comprehensive social services offered through the Urban Center, women from the community will be trained for employment and careers. Other services offered to them includes counseling, case management and training in a variety of traditional and also non-traditional jobs.
Job placement is also available from Urban Women's Center for women. Workshops address literacy, GED classes and a Women's Support Group is also available. The Center also includes a free computer training class for women looking to either learn or improve their computer skills.
The Offices of Camden County Council on Economic Opportunity are located at 538 S. Broadway, Camden, NJ 08103 (phone (856) 964-6887) as well as 628 Route 73 South, Berlin, New Jersey 08009. Call (856) 767-3320.
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