Families or individuals who need help can call upon the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen. This non-profit agency provides emergency assistance, social services, and aid to residents of the counties of Middlesex, Somerset, Warren, and Hunterdon. Examples of the assistance programs and resources that they provide the working poor, seniors, and unemployed are listed below.
Financial assistance including rent and utilities – Either apply for, or get information on utility bill help including the Low Income Heat and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This resource is a federal government funded program that helps New Jersey families with paying their heating and energy bills.
Catholic Charities can also help people apply for the additional options such as the New Jersey SHARES program. This assists low to moderate income households throughout Middlesex and Warren County area, and can help seniors and the low income pay their energy, telephone and water bills. This is a New Jersey state-wide energy bill assistance program that is committed to helping residential energy customers that cannot pay their energy bill due to short term financial difficulties. Working with the state NJ Shares program, Catholic Charities can arrange for qualified lower income customers to get a limited one-time credit with their utility provider. Learn more on assistance energy bills.
Financial Stabilization for Family - Case Managers from your local Catholic charity center in Middlesex County or a nearby region will meet clients in their apartment or home and provide them with assistance with paying their rent, mortgage and utilities. Financial counseling and budgeting services are provided too.
These services include outreach, financial assessment for the family, advocacy, intercession with creditors, work with the backup of an attorney and accountant, debt and budget counseling, protective payeeships and power of attorney services. Another resource is the Affordable Housing Component of this program, which offers rental subsidies, case management and other social services.
Shopping Services for the Elderly – Volunteers can help the home-bound elderly and senior citizens in central New Jersey. Services can help them to continue to live in the community and delay admission to long-term care. Transportation, shopping, and other resources are offered to seniors.
A comprehensive application process and needs assessment needs to occur, and once that is completed by the New Jersey Office on Aging, the case is then referred to your nearby Catholic Charities in Somerset or Middlesex. The agency will then match the client with a volunteer to provide assistance such as friendly visits and grocery shopping services.
The Catholic Charity Diocese of Metuchen Food Pantry serves as a safety net to struggling families and individuals who meet low income standards and have limited resources. People can use the pantry once per month, and receive up to a seven day supply of free groceries or food.
The food bank will have available a full inventory of the recommended dietary nutrients of fruits, grains, vegetables, dairy items and protein products. When a family stops by for help, the exact number of food bags distributed will be determined by the household income, family size and living situations. In a very limited number of situations, individuals can use the food pantry more than once per month.
Catholic Charities also works closely with senior citizen complexes and charities across Middlesex County to provide help to the elderly and others. Case Management and advice is also offered as a support to people in need of advocacy services, encouragement, information, and get referrals. Churches, local businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals contribute in-kind donations to the program.
A Thrift Store can help people acquire affordable items such as clothing, furniture, personal products, and more. The location offers an affordable and convenient shopping experience to the entire family. Customers who use the thrift store are greeted by shelves and racks filled to the brim with merchandise.
The Thrift store will sell household furnishings, gently used clothing, shoes, accessories, small appliances, jewelry, books, toys and winter coats at a reasonable and fair price. The gently used, but higher quality discounted goods help families, including low-income households stretch their budgets. A clothing assistance voucher is also available in the Middlesex County New Jersey area for persons with special needs and who can’t afford pay even a considerably reduced amount. While some clothing for work or school may be offered, the Catholic Charities can also make referrals for individuals to receive professional work or school clothes and attire.
Donations are always needed. The greater central New Jersey community supports the thrift store through their generous, tax deductible contribution of items and money. Volunteers are always needed to work at the store as well.
Early Learning Centers are available for children up to 5 years of age. Social workers recognize the impact that social development as well as cognitive and physical activity has on children. Using approved Creative Curriculum, teachers who are certified and approved by Catholic Charities compose lesson plans that utilize and enhance the development of the children we serve.
Before and after school care is organized and provided by Partners School Age Child Care Programs. This is offered for children from 5 to 13 years of age. This service is offered in Warren, Middlesex, Morris, and Somerset Counties, and is mainly located in local elementary schools.
This program will provide people with a safe environment that engages children in a manner that promotes cognitive growth and development, promotes social interaction, and the child care programs focus on free choice and responsibility.
The Catholic Charity curriculum known as Links to Learning was designed in partnership with National Afterschool Association (NAA) as well as National Institute of Out of School Time (NIOST). The plans include art activities, daily literacy, science and math activities, and cultural diversity and social development weekly.
Catholic Charity St John's Health Clinic helps the uninsured, poor, and disadvantaged. Patients of the health center can receive child and adult immunizations, preventive medical care, and on-site laboratory services. St. John’s clinic also offers HIV case management services, medication assistance, pediatric and adult preventive primary medical care, and generally serves as a medical home for the poor in New Jersey.
Transitional Housing is offered by the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen for the poor; devalued or disenfranchised. They have helped create affordable permanent housing for the working poor, and units can be rented or homes can even be bought.
The rental assistance program provides very affordable yet spacious and high quality housing to members of the community. Another option is the Homeownership program, which permits low income families to enjoy the benefits of owning a single family detached home. Both of these services are offered to low income working poor families. Eligibility for any type of low income housing or rent help is based on income level.
Home purchase programs are offered, and the units will be low-income housing for families who would otherwise be unable to maintain suitable housing. Apartments are also available for an indefinite period of time to eligible individuals or families.
Shelter and very short term Transitional Housing is offered to people who are hungry, need a place to stay/shelter, or lack the financial resources to meet their basic needs and pay their bills. In total, over 20 Catholic Charity programs are available across Middlesex and neighboring counties to provide short term housing and rent assistance that will help lead to self-sufficiency.
Ozanam Family Shelter in Edison is one option. It is open for both families and single women/parents. In addition to a place to stay, work with case managers to improve their earning capacity and obtain permanent housing. It provides temporary and emergency lodging, case management and referrals, and employment opportunities.
Immigration Assistance Program – The agency will help immigrant families and individuals with adapting to the US, and acquiring the proper legal status as needed. Services can help families reunite with other members, help them become free from abusive living situations and generally help immigrants become United States citizens and residents of New Jersey.
Refugee assistance services are available too, and they can assist those seeking asylum. Most of the aid is for those who are fleeing from oppressive governments. Immigrants, individuals, and refugees who are eligible for citizenship are guided in the steps that will lead to legalized residency, and all programs are available in multiple languages including English, Creole, Spanish, and French.
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