Bergen County St. Vincent De Paul assistance programs.

The non-profit Society of Saint Vincent De Paul is involved in the administration of short and long term assistance in Bergen County. Most of the support from the church based groups will be in the form of basic needs, such as boxes of food or clothing. While more limited, there may be some one time funds for paying bills in a crisis, and that can be rent, utilities, or housing costs.

More information on their services are below. No matter whether someone is found to be qualified or not, in most cases at bare minimum staff will refer residents to other agencies in the county. As the team at Bergen County St. Vincent De Paul does truly want to help the less fortunate in the region.

Assistance for utilities is available in many forms, including from SHARE in New Jersey. The resources can help coordinate the delivery of heating oil, or assist with electric bills or natural gas. This form of help is for families in the county of Bergen that are faced with a disconnection, with priority for people with an illness or disability.

St. Vincent De Paul provides utility bill assistance to families and individuals in need throughout the year. The support may involve purchasing space heaters, offering funds for heating oil or electric bills, or even free fans and air conditioning window units. The goal is to ensure people do not suffer through the summer heat or that individuals are not left out in the cold during the winter months.

Other low income energy programs include LIHEAP, as well as the crisis component of it. This is available across the state of New Jersey. It is an an income based program that issues grants for gas, electricity, utility deposits, oil, wood or propane. The applicant needs to be out of heating fuel, or on the verge of disconnection to apply.

Rent assistance is sometimes available from the churches as the goal is to prevent homelessness in Bergen County. Staff want both the homeless and tenants to be able to secure and maintain affordable housing. Therefore, families in an emergency that have fallen behind on rent and are facing eviction, there may be funds or loans issued to help. The intent is to stop an eviction.





Bergen County St. Vincent De Paul partners with many local housing organizations, both non-profits and government agencies. They partner to offer temporary, transitional, and permanent affordable housing solution for clients that need referrals. Case Managers will also sit down and interview the applicant, and conduct home visits as needed.

The housing solutions also focus on solving landlord/tenant issues, and the home visits will focus on individual goals. Any funds for rent will also be combined with employment concerns, financial management, or meeting goals identified through various assessments. In almost all cases, attendance at workshops focused on self-sufficiency may be mandated as part of the process. Please bring a picture ID, copy of lease, income, utility or medical bill, or other printed document to verify a hardship.

Referrals may also be given out to both shelters and Permanent Affordable Housing units in Hackensack and the county. There are homes and apartments for the working poor, and some are even based in good school systems. Housing authorities have renovated houses and apartment units and turned them into comfortable, safe and secure homes for low-income families.

Basic needs can be available, and this is more likely to be the case and not the financial support indicated above. The assistance can come in various forms, as noted below.

Clothing banks can be offered for students or job seekers that meet low income guidelines and that are also in need of affordable, yet quality clothing. This program not only provides the clothes, such as boots, coats, and more, that students need, but also gives clients the choice to select what they need.





Sadly, the number of people in hunger is still too high, and the need for food assistance is still increasing. While many people do rely on SNAP food stamps in order to eat, the application process can take a long time and the amount of aid from it is limited. Bergen County St. Vincent De Paul food pantry can fill the gap.

Grocery bags may be passed out for free or a low cost. They may include meats, fresh produce, dairy items, bread, canned and nonperishable goods, and even personal hygiene items such as shampoo, toothpaste, or paper towels. Food is obtained from USDA surplus items and local food drives held by volunteers. In some cases, the location may have formula and baby supplies may also be available. Some clients may also benefit from a home delivery service for elderly and homebound residents.

Much of above will require the applicant to participate in case management or financial education programs. These services from Bergen County St. Vincent De Paul and partners address the financial struggles of those living in poverty, and they may be given the tools to stabilize their situation and become more self-sufficient.

Many different churches and charities could be part of the charity. For referrals, the number to dial is (877) 652-1148.



By Jon McNamara

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