Ocean County assistance programs.

In an emergency, find how Ocean County charities, government agencies, and churches provide financial help. Families as well as immigrants may get money for paying their rent or a free box of groceries. Also find how to apply for free health care, case management or job training, and even energy bill help from the government.

Housing assistance, including energy bills, mortgage, and more

A local non-profit agency, the Affordable Housing Alliance, provides families and individuals with numerous resources. Some of the assistance they offer includes foreclosure counseling, help for energy bills, and rental assistance.

The organization provides foreclosure counseling to low and many middle income homeowners who are delinquent in their mortgages or who may be in danger of foreclosure and losing their home. AHA will help these homeowners who need assistance by helping them obtain a loan workout solution or modification with their current mortgage holder. The goal is to reduce their monthly mortgage payments, get the lender to waive fees, and ensuring they have an affordable monthly payment over the long term. Find additional foreclosure prevention programs.

The AHA will also assist families and individuals by providing them help with paying energy bills. They assist in many ways, including helping people with the application process that is needed for them to secure temporary assistance to pay their home energy and heating bills. The assistance provided by AHA on the application process is critical to helping individuals and families who are seeking temporary relief in paying their gas, electric, heating, oil and propane bills. In addition to helping with the application process, AHA also is an authorized NJ SHARES Intake site, which means that they will assist those people with moderate household incomes by providing them with a one-time hardship payment once per calendar year.

Last, but not least, AHA also administers the New Jersey Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is a federally funded program that assists low income households with summer cooling and winter heating bills. The program focuses on New Jersey's most vulnerable populations, especially the elderly, low-income families, and the disabled. Traditionally these individuals pay a high percentage of their total household income for home energy usage, in particular during the summer and winter.





In addition to AHA helping clients find affordable housing, they also can provide them with rent assistance. Short term, one time grants can be used to help pay rent, and prevent an eviction.

You can contact Affordable Housing Alliance at 732-389-2958 for more information on these or other programs. They help people in Toms River and throughout Ocean County.

Foreclosure counseling

The Community Action Agency (phone number (517) 784-4800) has opened a new center that will assist families who are facing foreclosure, homelessness, or people who are being evicted from their housing.

The Community Solutions Center, which is located at 511 S. Jackson St., will serve as the primary location for the free housing assistance and foreclosure-prevention services and transitional housing and homeless services. There are several services being offered, including the Community Solutions Center will also offer mediation services to help privately resolve disputes between two parties, such as homeowners and lenders.

Other services offered by the new office will include financial education, establishing and repairing credit, basic budgeting skills, avoiding predatory lending, help from medical debt collectors, basic banking skills, information on low interest loans, and referrals to other assistance programs.

Consumer Credit Counseling of New Jersey ((888) 726 - 3260) offers programs including Housing Counseling & Reverse Mortgage Counseling, Foreclosure Prevention, Mortgage Default & Delinquency, and other Housing Programs. Find additional foreclosure and mortgage programs, such as the New Jersey Home Keeper Program.

Financial assistance in Ocean County for rent, utility bills, medications, and other expenses

The non-profit O.C.E.A.N., Inc. offers the following assistance programs. Phone (732) 244-5333.

  • Utility and heating bills - Gift of Warmth offers one-time per year energy bill assistance program. Another option is one-time per year assistance program. Last, but not least, they run a cooling bill assistance program.
  • Homelessness Prevention - Rent and mortgage assistance is offered. The agency offers funding and cash grants to Ocean County New Jersey residents in situations. Counselors from the agency may also contact and work with the homeowner’s bank, lender, or mortgage company, or the renter’s landlord, referring clients for counseling, government assistance, or provide budgeting and debt counseling to help people avoid problems in the future. They can also make referrals to support organizations and local charities.
  • The community action agency known as OCEAN offers many other services too. Examples include utility bill help from NJ Shares, funds for paying rent or security deposits, eviction prevention counseling, and loan programs. They also process several federal government and state of New Jersey benefits, such as weatherization and Head Start. Housing counseling, for both tenants and homeowners, is a major focus of the HUD approved agency.
  • To get more information on their services, click here.




Ocean County Catholic Charities, which is based in Lakewood New Jersey ((732) 363 - 5322) offers emergency services. Receive food, clothing, possible utility and rent help, and shelter. Case managers and volunteers from Catholic Charities and nearby churches offer residents a number of other resources too. Among them include prescription medications and basic health care. Low income families and children can receive free Christmas gifts and meals. Career counseling and employment opportunities are available as well. Learn more.

Ocean County Board of Social Services has locations in Toms River, Lakewood, and Manahawkin, and the agency can help refer people to various assistance programs. The government organization can direct people to general cash assistance and public aid such as food stamps, Head Start, and the low income energy assistance program/LIHEAP. Call (732) 349 - 1500

Saint Mary's Church ((609) 698 - 7477), Saint Martha's Church Roman Catholic Church (phone (732) 295 - 3630), Saint Dominic's Roman Catholic Church ((732) 458 - 7450), and Saint Aloysius Church ((732) 370 - 0098) may all be able to offer aid, counseling, and limited financial assistance.

Catholic Charities of Ocean County New Jersey runs the Emergency and Community Services program, which is a special offering. The Emergency and Community Services Division of the New Jersey Catholic Charities is committed to providing comprehensive assistance, whether financial or other, to local families and individuals in need of the basic necessities of life, such as shelter, food, clothing, utilities, and much more. 200 Monmouth Ave, Lakewood, New Jersey, 08701, dial (732) 363 - 5322

St. Vincent DePaul Society has several churches and locations in Ocean County. Volunteers and so called Venetians will visit the poor and less fortunate. The charity will do what is can to help the less fortunate. Some of the social services and assistance provided includes food, thrift stores, financial help for rent or utilities, and referrals. The Human Concerns Project is a homeless prevention program that may assist with rental and utility expenses and partners with the United Way and FEMA. Or apply for heating bill assistance from NJ SHARES. Some of the centers are at.

  • 250 Old Squan Rd, Brick, NJ, 08724
  • 935 Bennetts Mills Rd, Jackson, NJ, 08527
  • 3800 Herbertsville RD, Point Pleasant, NJ, 08742
  • Or call (732) 458 - 7450
  • For more details, find information on Saint Vincent Ocean County programs.





Ocean County free Christmas and Thanksgiving assistance is possible during the fall and winter. The most common programs are known as the following, but there may be others.

Low income families with children can sign up for Toys or Tots, and some charities offer the Angel Tree free toy program. The availability of Christmas and/or Thanksgiving meals is more common. More Christmas and holiday assistance in Ocean County.

House of Hope of Ocean County has limited financial aid and referrals. Receive support resources, free food (from an on-site food pantry) and limited financial assistance for emergency needs such as housing or utilities. Get help in applying for government aid and social services and other self-sufficiency resources. 253 Chestnut St, Toms River NJ, (732) 341 - 4447, or read HOPE Center assistance.

Non-profit clothing banks and closets provide free items. What is available can include household goods, winter coats, shoes, baby supplies, and other types of clothes. They also provide some holiday assistance to qualified Ocean County New Jersey families and children. Learn more.

Solutions to End Poverty Soon (STEPS) offers assistance for seniors and the working poor. Among them include energy assistance from New Jersey SHARES and maybe water bill programs too. Or get referrals to food pantries, public programs, and more.

The non-profit also has information on government grants, which may be available for paying rent, heating bills, or a security deposit. Due to the weak job market in the area, other services are also available, including for single moms and the elderly. Address is 14 S Clifton Ave, Lakewood NJ, call (732) 367 - 1640, or learn more on STEPS emergency assistance.

HPRP - This housing service will focus on stopping evictions and/or foreclosures. Agencies will also help families find and move into a new home or apartment. Some of the components are as follows.

  • Clients, including single mothers or those in poverty, can seek housing counseling.
  • Grants can help with housing bills such as rent, heating, or water bills if they could lead to homelessness.
  • Other aid is also provided by Homeless Prevention in Ocean County. Click more information.

Government assistance - The county runs almost 20 cash assistance, health care, and homeless prevention programs for qualified low income Ocean County residents. Those are just a sampling of what individuals can get help with, as other social services are provided too. Read more on government aid.

Lakewood Resource and Referral Center administers various utility and heating bill assistance programs. When you call or stop by, case managers will assist clients with information on and help applying for a variety of utility bills assistance programs. Apply for New Jersey Shares, Heat Electric Assistance Program, HEAP, Universal Service Fund, and USF, among others. 212 2nd St, Suite 204, Lakewood, New Jersey, 08701, dial (732) 942 - 9292

Salvation Army has a center in Ocean County. They coordinate resources with other New Jersey locations. Several assistance programs and social services are administered. Examples include homeless prevention and housing, including rental assistance, shelter, and transitional housing. Other resources include free food, holiday meals/gifts and clothing. The Ocean County center may also have funds for paying utility and heating bills, nutrition for senior citizens, and items like school supplies. More Ocean County Salvation Army resources.

Rental and housing resources - Several non-profits, government programs and charities in the county focus on providing emergency rent help and/or funds for paying security deposits. They may use grants for these costs as well as other housing expenses, or offer mediation to stop an eviction. Locate more information on rental assistance in Ocean County New Jersey.





Food assistance in Ocean County New Jersey

The centers below offer a wide variety of food assistance programs. They range from hot meals, free groceries, Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys, and snacks for students and children. Or get help in applying for government programs such as food stamps.

  • Abiding Peace Lutheran Church, which is located in Budd Lake ((973) 691 - 9393)
  • Community Food Bank of NJ - Hillside ((908) 355 - 3663)
  • East Dover Baptist Church Food Pantry. This center is located in Toms River, and it provides free food and other aid. (732) 270 - 4888.
  • Food Bank of Ocean Counties. Phone (732) 918 - 2600.

Locate additional food banks in Ocean County New Jersey. Not only may free groceries be given out, but the charities will also help very low income families apply for SNAP food stamps or other aid. There may also be hygiene supplies passed out for free to Ocean County families living in poverty.

Programs to get out of debt

Contact any of the following to receive debt counseling, foreclosure prevention advice, and other credit type programs. Family Service Association ((866) 889 - 9347) and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley (phone (800) 989 - 2227). Click here to find how to get help with medical debts.

By Jon McNamara

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