NORWESCAP Northwest New Jersey Community Action Partnership.
The non-profit Northwest New Jersey Community Action Partnership provides services to the counties of Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren. Dozens of assistance programs are available, with a focus on meeting basic needs and providing long term self-sufficiency. The agency goes by the name of NORWESCAP and some of the leading resources offered are below.
Financial assistance from NORWESCAP
Throughout the course of the year, Northwest New Jersey Community Action Partnership processes applications for several heating and utility bill assistance programs. Some are funded by the federal government and others are focused on New Jersey households. The main resources are as follows.
- LIHEAP - Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is available in Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren or Sussex. The agency gives funds to assist qualified low income and poor households to help them pay their heating and cooling bills. It can also help pay for heating oil, electricity, wood, and other fuel sources.
- New Jersey Universal Service Fund (USF) will help make energy and heating bills more affordable for the poor, seniors, and low income. It will in effect lower the amount that people need to pay for their gas and electric bills. It is often provided by NORWESCAP in combination with LIHEAP.
- The Weatherization Assistance Program is a conservation resource. Homeowners may be able to save hundreds of dollars on their annual utility bills. The federally funded program is designed to assist elderly, handicapped, seniors, and low-income persons in weatherizing their homes and conserving energy.
NORWESCAP Housing and Energy Services can be reached at the following locations. Sussex County Toll free number is (888) 454-4778. In Warren County, dial (888) 454-4778. Hunterdon County (888) 454-4778). Low income families in Somerset can dial (888) 454-4778.
The NORWESCAP Family Loan Program will offer qualified clients access to low interest loans. The funds can help people that face occasional challenges, such as child care difficulties or repeated car break-downs that can easily plunge a family into a short term crisis and unemployment. The community action agency works with local financial institutions and banks.
All loans issued to the community must be repaid within two years. Not only that, but applicants and people that participate are required to attend Financial and Credit Counseling Workshops. The person also needs to be working, demonstrate a need, and live in the counties of Warren, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, or Sussex. Call 908-859-1777 for details. They types of short term loans issued are as follows.
- Automobile purchase - Up to $3,000 is issued.
- Car insurance or repairs - Apply for up to $1000.
- Emergency Housing, Mortgage, Rent or Security Deposit Loans are issued up to $1,000.
- Child Care Expenses - $800
Matched savings programs are also known as IDA - Individual Development Accounts. This is a program that works with income eligible individuals to help them save money, achieve wealth and gain assets. Participants need to open an account, attend credit counseling and financial literacy, and use money to save for a home or start a business. Money from the IDA accounts can be used to pay for education including training to get a professional license, vocational training, or savings can pay for college tuition.
Safe Housing arranges for accessibility improvements, security measures and free home repairs for elderly individuals. The updates can enhance the safety, health, and well being of the individual. The Program is paid for through a grant by the County Division of Senior Services and funds are also offered under Title III of The Older Americans Act. Phone (908) 454-7000.
Other energy conservation tactics may be available depending on the funding at that particular time and the condition of the residence. When a tenant applies for the Weatherization Assistance Program, the landlord of the residence will be responsible for 50% of the total cost of the energy tactics.
Information and referrals are available as part of First Call For Help. Call 1-877-661-4357. Staff will help residents locate assistance programs, non-profit agencies and organizations. Get information on rent assistance, low income housing, Government Programs, Transportation, Emergency Services, Free Legal Assistance, and also programs serving the disabled.
The Northwest New Jersey Community Action Partnership Food Bank focuses on ending hunger and malnutrition in the community. Among other services, it takes donated food and holds products that were offered by charitable organizations.
The regional pantry is also a subsidiary of the Feeding America Food Bank Network which distributes donations of surplus groceries, canned goods, USDA commodities, and food from manufacturers, wholesalers, distribution centers and brokers. The Food Bank also works with regional shelters, emergency pantries, and soup kitchens.
Backpack Program is coordinating proper nutrition for children and students. Children of low-income and working poor families have been shown to be at a higher risk of poor nutrition. This can also impact their school performance and their overall development.
The NORWESCAP Backpack Program will meet the needs of hungry students and children at times when other government or non-profit resources are not available. So most of the goods are passed out on weekends, vacations and school holidays. The staff from the Food Bank confidentially fill the non-descript backpacks with nutritious food, snacks and beverages. Children may get items such as small canned vegetables, fresh fruit, chicken noodle soup, peanut butter, and other canned goods.
Summer Food Service Program is administered by the NORWESCAP Food Bank and it really kicks into gear when school closes for the summer. During breaks during the year, many children lose their only reliable source of food, namely free lunches or breakfasts. The Summer Food Service Program will fill the gap and serve a free nutritious lunch to children and students up to the age of 18.
The Northwest New Jersey Community Action Partnership Food Bank is located at 201 North Broad Street,
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865. Call 908-454-4322 for intake.
WIC is for pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women as well as infants from birth to one year. Low income guidelines need to be met as well. Families will receive free foods such as eggs, Milk (or Soy Milk/Tofu), Eggs, Infant Formula, Fruits and Vegetables, Beans/Peas/Lentils, and other Baby Foods. Other WIC services are Free Health Screenings, Access to Health Care, and Nutrition Education.
Education and employment services
Early Head Start is for children under the age of three. It provides home and classroom services that are intended to nurture and support children from low income families. Their parents can also access social services. The federal funded program can provided for health and developmental assessments and screening. Pregnant women and new mothers can get help as well.
Head Start is the nations and New Jersey’s main Comprehensive Preschool Program. NORWESCAP processes applications that coordinate free, full or part time day or home-based preschool program. Teachers work with students and social workers with parents. Also, health professionals can offer guidance to parents in providing for all the dental and health needs of children. It also is inclusive for children with disabilities. Other Head Start resources are Assessments, Health Screenings, Workshops, Transportation, and Free Breakfast, Lunch & Snacks. The locations in Northwestern New Jersey are below.
- Hunterdon Center and Hunterdon County Home-Based, 79 US Highway 202, Ringoes, NJ 08551, 908-284-4757
- Newton Center, 111 Ryerson Avenue, Suite 3, Newton, New Jersey 07860, dial 973-300-4091
- Hopatcong Center, 406 Wills Avenue, Stanhope, NJ 07874, telephone 973-398-4486
- Phillipsburg Fisher Avenue Center, 535 Fisher Avenue, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865, call 908-454-5936
- Phillipsburg Roseberry Street Center, 604 Roseberry Street, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865, main phone 908-213-3422
- Sussex Center, 37 Main Street, Sussex, NJ 07461, 973-875-8565
- Warren County Home Based Program, 604 Roseberry Street, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865, 908-213-3422, main phone
- Washington Center, 2 Pohatcong Avenue, Washington, New Jersey 07882, phone 908-689-4668
The Life and Career Transitions Center for Women coordinates supportive services to meet the needs of Displaced Homemakers. This will be those that are separated, divorced, or widowed and it operates in Hunterdon, Mercer, Warren and Somerset Counties. It will help women gain economic self-sufficiency by obtaining additional job training, education, supportive services, job readiness, and community referrals. Other services from the center are Computer Literacy Training, Workshops, Education, Vocational Counseling, Career Interest Assessment, and Resume Writing.
Family Self-Sufficiency, or FSS, is a Northwest New Jersey Community Action Partnership program that helps families and individuals that are currently receiving Housing Choice Vouchers for paying their rent. Other participants can be people that are residing in certain low income or public housing. Staff work with them to achieve economic self-sufficiency and stability. Several local government affiliated Housing Authorities have also contracted with NORWESCAP to bring the FSS Program to their local town and county.
FSS will enroll clients and offer them the following. It will also coordinate resources in the community. Receive Financial Assistance, Case Management, Employment/Career Counseling, Home Ownership workshops, Education & Training, and other Counseling.
Arthur and Friends is a fairly unique training and community employment program for the disabled in the counties of Hunterdon, Sussex and nearby areas. Services will put them into a better place so they can work and fully participate in their communities. One component is the Greenhouse Project. This includes multiple approaches to providing employment and transferable skill training through an agri-business.
In general, this community action agency project represents an opportunity for increasing and improving career and employment opportunities that allow individuals with disabilities to develop and master new skills and achieve economic self-sufficiency over the mid to long term. The Kessler Foundation, which is a public charity, plays a leading role in coordinating this resource across the community.
The College Community Empowerment Project is available in partnership with groups such as the Sussex County Community College and also Raritan Valley Community College. Assistance may be arranged by NORWESCAP for people that are living in poverty and that also have the desire to obtain a college degree. Assistance will help students overcome any barriers.
Pathways to Prosperity, also known as Sussex Circles, is a poverty fighting initiative. It provides families and residents the support and resources they need to change and improve their lives by becoming self-reliant and sufficient. There is a complete, comprehensive education services coordinated. Case managers direct clients to education, skill building, mentoring and networking classes and workshops. So called Path Leaders from NORWESCAP make real and positive changes in clients lives. Some of the benefits include increased earned income, Debt reduction, homes removed from foreclosure, and help in securing transportation.
Similar to above is Compadres, which is Pathways to Prosperity program for children. It fosters the success of Path Leaders in local school, homes and the community at large. Among other things, Compadres focuses on the emotional and social growth as well as literacy skills of children, as well as character development. Additional emphasis is placed on literacy and community responsibility.
In addition to the contact information noted above, other NORWESCAP offices are as follows.
Housing & Energy Services, 350 Marshall Street, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865, (888) 454-4778
Food Bank, 201 North Broad Street, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865, call (908) 454-4322
Family Success Center of Phillipsburg, 459 Center Street, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865, dial (908) 213-2679
Child and Family Resource Services, 186 Halsey Road Suite 1, Newton, NJ 07860, main number is (973) 383-3461
The Corporate Office is at 350 Marshall Street, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865. Phone(908) 454-7000.