Helping low income families across Essex County with their basic needs and addressing crisis situations, the Newark Emergency Services for Families provides everything from cash grants to referrals to other local non-profits and charities. The goal is on helping residents faced with a one-time crisis, and also assisting the homeless with gaining stability.
The organization will provide services to stabilize families and individuals who are in financial need due to a short term crisis situation. Using both government funding and money raised from the community, the agency has help for the working poor and the homeless in the region. They can offer financial support (for security deposits or provide food) and life skills training, with the goal of helping them to live on their own. Resources from NESF are for children, families, single parents, and individuals in the region.
Assistance programs and social services offered at Newark Emergency Services for Families include comprehensive case management and direct financial assistance, as resources allow. The aid is for low-income Essex County residents, and more details are below.
A Free Food and Clothing Pantry furnishes vouchers, nonperishable grocery items, food packages, school supplies, and hot meals. The goal is to alleviate nutritional shortfalls in families by supplementing their supply of healthy food so that they can prepare and serve nourishing meals. The non-profit also provide weather-appropriate clothing, such as winter coats and boots, for those in need.
The thrift store is also for the public as well as families in crisis. Some individuals may receive free vouchers for use in the store, and they can use them to pay for shoes, clothing, winter coats, linens, and home items. Benefit amounts vary according to income and also household size. In addition, NESF will help victims of domestic violence or natural disasters with getting back on their feet by providing replacements for lost home furnishings and other necessities.
Low-income Newark as well as greater Essex County residents are invited during the fall months to participate in the agencies Holiday Program, which enables them to obtain free gifts or toys for the Christmas season for their families. This is done through a family adoption process by volunteers or local businesses. Other people may be given a gift certificate to use for shopping at the Holiday Shop. Not only does this help fill a need in the county, the Holiday Program also provides the opportunity for generous individuals, businesses, organizations, and churches to give back to children and the needy.
All requests for Emergency Services go through a centralized intake and initial assessment process, and support is for those who are dealing with a financial hardship. Some of these other financial assistance services can include rapid re-housing for the homeless, shelter placement, and assistance with paying back rent and mortgage payments. There may also be loans for paying security deposits and funds for utility or heating bill payments.
The Essex County homeless Drop-In Center is staffed with experienced and highly trained personnel or volunteers who link clients with emergency shelters and other support services, as needed. The center also offers laundry facilities, showers, free use of telephones, and access to a food and clothing pantry, all in a confidential and caring environment.
The SAIF - Supportive Assistance for Individuals and Families Program is offered in partnership with the state of New Jersey. It serves as a safety net to Essex County residents who are nearing the end of their five-year lifetime benefits of cash aid or TANF. In order to ensure that clients of Newark Emergency Services for Families are provided with all essential skills and tools needed to achieve self-sufficiency, SAIF provides benefits counseling, case management, and referrals to job readiness programs or employers that are hiring. There is also free medical care and counseling services coordinated.
NESF is home to the Central and West Wards Family Success Center, which is operated as a comprehensive one-stop resource center that promotes empowerment of the family and individual. The Center hosts monthly workshops, offers clients free access to a community computer lab, and direct emergency assistance. There are other more unique programs such as the FSC Fatherhood Program Initiative, which helps people improve their knowledge, attitudes, and skills.
Another program is the Prisoner Re-Entry which receives grants from the City of Newark. The goal is to assist the formerly incarcerated with re-entering the community. Program services include case management, long-term goal setting, connections to financial aid programs, job readiness programs, housing information, and referrals to health care. The program also furnishes vouchers to pay for short-term shelter (including motels), access to the food and clothing pantry, support in meeting basic necessities, referrals for furniture, and guidance in obtaining proper identification.
Free eye care and glasses are offered, as NESF partners with the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and another national non-profit known as New Eyes for the Needy. There is free tests or screenings, contact lenses and corrective lens vouchers to eligible Essex County residents.
Low income or uninsured clients are seen on a first come, first served basis, as this is a very limited resource. As this service is rendered, staff that run this program offer clients the opportunity to apply for reduced medical coverage through the Affordable Healthcare Act.
The location of Newark Emergency Services for Families is at Victoria Human Services Plaza, 982 Broad St., Newark, New Jersey 07102. Telephone number is 973-639-2100.
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