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Hudson County Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Volunteers and staff from Catholic Charities work with the underprivileged and lower income community in Hudson County, New Jersey. The agency will also prioritize any support for single parents or seniors, as well as other struggling families. The disabled can also be a focus of the church based groups. If qualified and resources allow, there may be emergency services for paying certain household expenses as well as self-sufficiency, and even resources for military members such as Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF).

While offering basic needs such as food and clothing, the non-profit can also arrange for other emergency human services in Hudson County. With the help of both staff members and volunteers, the charity offers individualized assistance to help needy clients resolve a crisis.

SSVF, or the Supportive Services for Veteran Families, can help veterans that live in the County. There is support and government grants for those who are homeless or at risk of eviction. The charity can help clients regain stability in permanent housing, so there may be money available for first month's rent or a security deposit on a new, low income apartment in Jersey City.

Some of the resources for other low income families provided include financial aid to pay rent to prevent homelessness and utility disconnections, especially during the winter months. The charity also provides free food and transportation to job interview, and helps clients afford the cost of prescription medication. The agency aims to first alleviate a crisis and then help the family work towards long-term independence and also financial self-sufficiency.

Upon the resolution of the crisis, Hudson County Catholic Charities helps clients assess the barriers that are preventing them from achieving stability. The organization assists the person in developing a plan of action based on their existing strengths, skillset and assets that can be used to overcome the hurdles to self-sufficiency.

There are many tactics used to guide participants on their way to independence. The case management process is a non-service-based program to help families achieve stability and build personal and financial assets. The program, inspired by a similar initiative developed by other local agencies in Jersey City, is not a traditional case management service. Rather, families direct themselves and participate in peer groups to resolve issues and deal with crisis situations.




As another benefit under this service, Catholic Charities of Hudson County provides financial incentives to participating families as they take the initiative in making the changes they identify as important in their lives. This can include access to government grants for paying certain expenses, such as for certification or school books.

The Career Dress program is designed for residents from Hudson County who are actively pursuing employment. This provides an outfit needed for job interviews, including work-appropriate clothing, shoes, undergarments, outerwear and more. Once a participant of the service has secured employment, the program provides at least two additional work outfits.

On average, the Catholic Charities Career Dress program serves many less fortunate people month. The program is managed entirely by volunteers who not only collect donated clothing items and provide work attire, but also foster an understanding environment in which clients are encouraged to believe in themselves.

Jersey City employment programs are part of Workforce Development. Catholic Charities offers this service to break the cycle of poverty. Immigrants can enroll into English as a Second Language, and other components of it include computer training as well as a Displaced Homemakers Program, which is for people re-entering the workforce.

Senior citizens and disabled adults can turn to the charity for assistance during an emergency situation as well. The agency provides a three-day supply of food, personal hygiene items and/or occasional transportation services. In addition, staff will refer clients to applications for financial assistance to prevent evictions, foreclosures or utility disconnections.

Or information on government benefits, such as SSI applications are available or the center helps clients with prescription medication expenses. This service is available to individuals who are at least 60 years of age and disabled persons who are at least 55 years of age.





A separate services program is for individuals who are 60 years of age and older. This resource was designed to help senior citizens live independently in their own homes or apartments. It features home visits to assess needs and follow-up phone calls to provide assistance with any issues. Moreover, the agency advocates for the elderly on their needs. Lastly, volunteers delivers fresh fruits and vegetables, boxes of food, and conducts monthly luncheons across Jersey City and the county.

Each year, Catholic Charities of Hudson County provides a free traditional Thanksgiving meal for hundreds of families in need. The organization distributes baskets with all the customary food for families to prepare on their own. In doing so, the charity helps lower income families maintain their personal traditions.

In December of each year, the agency and its partner churches administers a Christmas assistance program to provide gifts and clothing to children from income qualified families and senior citizens. Donors from throughout the county allow people to adopt a needy individual or family and purchase items on the client’s wish list. The non-profit then collects the gifts and distributes them.

More details can be obtained from the churches that are part of the Hudson County Catholic Charity organization. Call them at (201) 798 - 9960, or stop by for details.



By Jon McNamara

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