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Assistance programs from community action agencies in New Jersey.

The state of New Jersey is served by dozens of non-profit community action agencies that provide assistance to the unemployed and low income. Case managers from the organizations listed below can help families improve their quality of life. Programs can include grants for paying bills, and also counseling for longer term stability.

Community action agency services are intended to empower low income families, seniors, and people who are struggling. A few examples of what can be offered include employment training, cash grants for utility bills or rent, computer literacy, budgeting, credit counseling and more. Many of the services resolve around addressing the causes of poverty or the hardship that a client is facing. Volunteers and staff members are committed to helping eligible families across the state of New Jersey.

Rent, mortgage, and housing assistance

Your local community action agency may offer assistance to both homeowners and renters in meeting the responsibilities of homeownership and tenancy as well as improving housing conditions. Or if the organization does not offer this service, they can usually redirect you to other New Jersey HUD certified counseling agencies.

Some of the housing services offered may include information for first time homebuyers, rental delinquency assistance, homebuyer education, pre-occupancy, and home improvement and rehabilitation. A focus is always on foreclosure prevention in New Jersey, so programs can provide mortgage default assistance, risk loss mitigation, and even displacement and relocation if you need to move.

Housing Counseling includes advocacy with landlords, budgeting, rental delinquency counseling, and housing information. Community action agencies in New Jersey can give referrals to affordable housing and government assistance.

The New Jersey Temporary Relief for Utility Expenses Program (TRUE) provides utility bill assistance for moderate-income households and economically disadvantaged families that are struggling to pay off a past due balance on their gas or electric account. If you enroll and are qualified, you can receive a grant towards your old bills, which can eliminate them or provide you time to pay off the remainder.




Senior Residential Maintenance is offered by some towns and counties. It is usually free for tenants and homeowners who are age 60 or over. An assessment of your home will be done. If needed, some repairs may be completed too. This can include small home repairs, window repair/caulking, weather stripping for drafty windows and doors, and even updates such as shower chairs.

Weatherization is offered in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. It will help low income customers conserve energy and therefore save money on their heating and utility bills. Those who qualify will also have a health and safety check performed on their heating equipment. Weatherization may pay for Refrigerator Replacement, Heating and Hot Water Tank Replacement and Repairs, Insulation, and Energy Saving Light Bulbs. Other services are offered too. All resources are organized by your county community action agency.

Some of the common clients for weatherization include Disabled American Veterans receiving compensation, families who have a member on SSI (Supplemental Social Security), and food stamp eligible residents. However if your income is low, you can apply.

The New Jersey Homelessness Prevention Program provides cash grants and financial assistance to low-income families who are close to losing their rental housing due to a temporary financial problem. Help is also provided to those who have been evicted through no fault of their own. Documentation of the hardship is required in order to be eligible. These programs can provide temporary financial assistance along with services such as budget counseling to prevent future recurrence of homelessness. Read more details on New Jersey homeless prevention and rapid rehousing.





The federal government Emergency Food and Shelter Program is meant to prevent homelessness. You can apply at your local community action agency. It offers one-time rent payments in order to prevent evictions from your home or apartment. Those families who are already homeless are afforded temporary shelter through a voucher system with area hotels or motels. Also food may be provided as part of this program.

New Jersey Community Action Agencies can help homeowners with their property taxes. The state and local rates are among the highest in the country, and many people struggle to pay them. there are some options though, ranging from abatements to contesting real estate taxes and more. Find details on property tax exemptions.

Most of the utility bill type aid is offered by referrals, but an agency is usually a great place to learn about financial assistance as well as state of New Jersey and federal government grants. The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEA) helps low income residents with paying their heating and cooling bills. Funds can pay for electric, oil, natural gas and other deliverable bills. Community action agencies process applications for LIHEAP.

Another statewide program is the Universal Service Fund (USF). It will provide qualified customers with savings on their energy and electric bills, and it is mandated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. It may be able to ensure that families do not spend more than six percent of their income on their monthly utility bills.

Community action agency case management services

Each agency wants to ensure clients are successful over the long term. So programs and workshops offered include family and career counseling, job training, computer literacy, parenting workshops, and language development. The non-profits want to end poverty in the state.

General Community Programming can include intake, outreach, counseling, referral and follow-up. A focus is on helping people increase their income, or get a job. So this means youth employment programs, transportation for interviews, child day care, summer day camps, employment and participate in volunteer projects for experience.

Find help in commuting and transit. Upstate NJ families often travel to the city for work and services, and the cost can be prohibitive. Community Action agencies can offer information on solutions. Whether it is tax breaks, discounted tickets and other aid. As an example, find how to get free bus passes.

Other Community Services resources include Driver License Restoration, Crisis Intervention & Services, Financial Literacy, and GED preparation. Basically staff will do what they can to help clients.





Financial Education classes and development is also important to self-sufficiency. Classes are coordinated by your non-profit community action agency. They focus on offering basic banking and money management including advice on savings and investment, understanding loans, budgeting, information on insurance products, and more. Learn the benefits of saving money and the use of bank accounts.

Free or low cost credit counseling sessions focus on eliminated debts, resolving credit issues, money management, household budgeting, and will help individuals with accessing free credit reports. Also get referrals to financial literacy classes. Many New Jersey families are in debt due to the high cost of living, and commujnity action agencies may assist. Read more on free credit counseling in New Jersey.

Individual Development Account, or IDA, is a program offered at many locations and it was designed to encourage low-income persons to participate in a matched savings program. So if you save a portion of your income, the agency will provide some matching grants. Savings can be used for paying for expenses and bills for education or business ownership. Other services offered at the same time include case management, access to credit counseling, supportive services, and financial literacy training components.

Senior citizens can also obtain outreach. A variety of empowerment and recreational programs are located at local community seniors. Programs consist of screenings, group outings, financial literacy workshops, health seminars and more. Home delivered meals may also be launched from these locations.

Many agencies offer the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. This can offer free tax advice and preparation services to lower income individuals who are age 60 or older. Support may be offered for younger clients as well if they meet income limits. This program provides people access to highly trained volunteers who provide free tax counseling and assistance to low income and elderly individuals. Get help completing both your New Jersey and federal income tax returns.

Employment and education services

The Employment Services program will prepare people for a job. Agencies and case workers partner with local businesses and training facilities to assist clients. Get assistance in finding appropriate employment. Case managers will help you identify and overcome barriers that have been preventing you from obtaining employment. Many community action locations will provide the appropriate services needed to help clients secure and retain a job that is compatible with their desired career path as well as skill set.

Agencies provide orientation to work readiness and collaborate with outside non-profit agencies and organizations to provide trade or business school training. Many centers also help people acquire or improve basic skills workshops such as interviewing skills, resume preparation, wearing professional attire and telephone techniques. Resources can also include a job bank from employers.

Services provide individuals opportunities to find employment, to attend job coaching seminars or to advance to a better position. Learn about job search and interview techniques, Resume creation workshops, and networking opportunities.







Many of the New Jersey residents who benefit from a community action agency job program include the recently unemployed, high school drop outs, single parent(s), former substance abusers, ex-offenders, individuals who have become disengaged and isolated from employment, and homeless individuals.

Several other employment resources are offered in New Jersey. They range from job training programs that are funded by the federal government and the Workforce Investment Act to more local services. Those seeking a new career or the currently unemployed can get help. Learn more on job training and placement in NJ.

Education services, such as English as a Second Language classes, are often available for immigrant and limited English-speaking adults, including children and senior citizens. Many community action agencies successfully serve hundreds of clients per year. They tend to provide beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of ESL classes.

New Americans is another immigrant type program. It is for foreign-born adults who move to New Jersey. It can provide immigration and naturalization assistance, advocacy, information, referral, and translation and interpretation services. This is a major resource for new immigrants to the country.

Summer Youth Employment Program is for high school students ages 16 and older. They will be placed in six-week, summer jobs related to their longer term career interests. Participating high school students also receive training in interviewing skills, orientation for work, resume writing skills, and gain the ability to acquire appropriate on-the-job behavior. Many positions can lead to an internship.

Immigration and Naturalization services are offered. With all of the newcomers to New Jersey, many need assistance in acclimating. So the community action agencies can facilitate information, counseling, help in starting credit, applications to the INS, translation assistance and other aid. Locations have also participated in a variety of specially targeted programs including amnesty and targeted visas. Find more details on starting credit as an immigrant in the US.

Food resources available tend to be application sites for WIC or information on food pantries. WIC is a
nutritional assistance program for infants, pregnant and nursing women, and children up to five years of age. WIC provides income eligible clients with the diet they need to remain healthy. It can pay for formula, food, and items that are needed to ensure successful pregnancies and a good start in life for the young and newborn. Many agencies also have lists of local pantries, including those run in partnership with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

Head Start is a federal government program, but is run at the local level, for preschool and young children from low-income and working poor families. Most children in Head Start are between the ages of three and five years old, but younger children may enroll too. Children who attend classes at a Head Start center will receive a variety of social services as well as educational activities. All services will help children grow emotionally, mentally, and even physically.

Attendees of the program will also receive free health, medical and dental care. In addition, free healthy meals and snacks are provided. The Head Start Program, operating through a community action agency or local school, also provides services to children with special needs or disabilities. Transportation may even be offered in some counties to and from Head Start Centers.

As an example of this assistance, nutritionally balanced menus are posted in the community action centers or classrooms and they will be sent home to the parents. The meal program can include lunch, breakfast and even an afternoon snack.





Uninsured children may be able to receive complete medical and dental examines including hearing and visual screenings. There is also help around eye care. Other health care may include immunizations and medications. More on free eye exams.

Mental health services are offered to children when needed. This is very important for a child’s development. A mental health professional is available for all children enrolled in Head Start.

Parents need to play a key roll in the New Jersey program. It places special emphasis on providing social services and training for parents of enrolled children, including Adult Education, Principals of Nutrition, and Preventative Health.

Locations of New Jersey agencies

Atlantic Human Resources, Inc. also supports Cape May
One S. New York Avenue
Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401
Call (609) 348-4131, or learn more on their social services and emergency financial assistance programs. Click more details on community action agency Atlantic Human Resources.

City of Bayonne in Hudson County Economic Opportunity Partnership
555 Kennedy Boulevard
Bayonne, NJ 07002
Main telephone: (201) 437-7222

Bergen County Community Action Partnership, Inc.
241 Moore Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
(201) 968-0200
Low income programs offered from this non-profit include job training, energy assistance, and general case management. Staff can also provide referrals as needed. Read more community action Bergen County New Jersey.

Burlington County Community Action Program
718 Route 130 South
Burlington, NJ 08016
Call (609) 386-5800
Another number is (609) 386-7380. Or click here for assistance from Burlington County Community Action Program.

Camden County Council on Economic Opportunity
538 Broadway
Camden, NJ 08103
Telephone number is (856) 964-6887
Case managers from the community action agency can direct low income families to food assistance, housing programs, and job training services as well. Learn more on Camden County Council on Economic Opportunity assistance programs.

Cape Human Resources
Mailing address - P.O. Box 667
Whitesboro, NJ 08252
Call (609) 465-4531 for intake.
Educational programs and poverty fighting resources are available. Also learn about foreclosure and mortgage delinquency counseling from this community action agency. Find more information on programs from Cape May community action.

Check-Mate, Inc. - Monmouth County
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Telephone: (732) 774-3100
This is an application site for weatherization as well as LIHEAP. Also inquire to the New Jersey Head Start program here.





East Orange Community Development Corporation
Address - 490 Main Street
East Orange, New Jersey 07018
Call (973) 266-5315
Supports McLennan county.

Essex County Division of Community Action
Location - 50 S. Clinton Street, Suite 3201
East Orange, NJ 07018
Telephone number: (973) 395-8350
Government and state of Jew Jersey programs are available. They include weatherization, Head Start, and homeless prevention in the form of rent, mortgage, and security deposit help.

Gateway Community Action Partnership
Main address is 110 Cohansey Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Telephone: (856) 451-6330
Help low income and seniors in the counties of Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland. More information on help from Gateway Community Action Partnership.

124 Grand Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Telephone: (201) 795-1576
This is the local community action agency for the City of Hoboken in Hudson County. Assistance is offered for low income, seniors, and families with children. While the organization will try to provide cash assistance when qualified, some residents of Hudson County may receive a loan for their needs, including rental expenses. Read more about HOPES CAP.

Jersey City Division of Community Development
30 Montgomery Street, Room 402
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 547-6910

Mercer County Division of Community Services
Primary address is 640 South Broad Street
Trenton, NJ 08650-0068
Call (609) 989-6964
Many of the programs are available as part of the non-profit known as HomeFront. Some of the resources include federal government grants for homeless prevention, emergency shelter as part of FreshStart, and WorkFirst GED and other state of New Jersey benefits. Click here for community action agency in Mercer County.

North Hudson Community Action Corporation
800 31st Street
Union City, NJ 07087-2622
Call the location at (201) 866-2388
Serves only parts of the county, including the towns of Weehawken, Secaucus, East Newark, Guttenberg, Harrison, Kearney, North Bergen, Union City, and West New York. Examples of programs include energy conservation (weatherization), heating/utility bill assistance, and programs for children such as Head Start or meals. More on North Hudson Community Action Corporation emergency assistance programs.

350 Marshall Street
Phillipsburg, New Jersey 08865
Telephone number - (908) 454-7000
One of the larger non-profits in the state. Supports residents of Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren County. Emergency financial assistance includes homeless prevention for struggling New Jersey families. This can be funds to pay back rent, a delinquent utility bill, or a security deposits for a new, lower income housing unit. Or inquire into NJ Shares for utility bills, emergency food, and more. Continue with NORWESCAP community action.





O.C.E.A.N., Inc.
40 Washington Street
Toms River, NJ 08753-1029
(732) 244-5333
Countless families receive support. Housing resources include low cost foreclosure counseling and eviction prevention advise, not to mention funds to pay rent. The non-profit community action agency also offer Cooling Bill Assistance, tenant/landlord mediation, child care, and other support in New Jersey. Continue with programs from O.C,E.A.N.

Passaic County Human Services
Address: 401 Grand Street - Room 417
Paterson, NJ 07505
Phone (973) 881-4278
Foreclosure counseling, budgeting, and employment programs are but a few of the services administered.

Paterson Task Force for Community Action, Inc.
Main address is 9 Colt Street
Paterson, NJ 07505
Telephone: (973) 279-2333
Only covers the City of Paterson itself.

Plainfield Action Services
510 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060
Dial (908) 753-3517 for information on resources administered. Or to find more information on this community action agency, click here Plainfield Action Services assistance programs.

Union County Department of Human Services
10 Elizabethtown Plaza
Elizabeth, NJ 07207
(908) 558-2290
Both of these locations cover either Union County or Plainfield. A wide variety of assistance and counseling programs are offered. More on Union County New Jersey Human Service programs.

Somerset Community Action Program
900 Hamilton Street
Somerset, NJ 08873
Telephone number - (732) 846-8888
While some limited cash assistance or grants may be available for heating bills or paying rental expenses, the focus of this community action is on self-sufficiency. Programs such as Head Start, Financial Literacy, ESL and similar services are available. More on the non-profit community action in Somerset County.

Union Township Community Action Organization
2410 Springfield Avenue
Vauxhall, NJ 07088
(908) 686-6150

United Community Corporation
Main address - 31 Fulton Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Telephone number is (973) 642-0181
The less fortunate in the City of Newark in Essex County can apply for aid here. Career counseling, housing, rent, and homeless prevention services are but a few of the resources offered. Continue with assistance programs from United Community Corporation.





United Passaic Organization
Location is 41 Myrtle Avenue
Passaic, New Jersey 07055
Call (973) 472-2478, or find more details on United Passaic Organization programs.

United Progress, Inc.
162 W. State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
Main phone number is (609) 392-2161

By Jon McNamara

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