Union County Urban League assistance programs.

Low income, unemployed, and struggling families can contact the Urban League of Union County for assistance. They provide outreach that addresses a number of issues, with a focus on employment and long term self-sufficiency. In some cases the staff can direct clients to emergency financial aid too, such as food or shelter / rent programs as part of their Housing and Community Development program.

A variety of employment and career counseling services are available throughout Union County New Jersey. The organization provides anyone who requests it with job-search tips in regards to socialization, acquisition, maintenance and adaptation. Individualized sessions and group workshops offer mock interviews and assistance with job searches. This even includes advise on properly completing applications and résumés. Job referrals are available as well.

In addition, the agency operates a career center as part of Economic Development and Employment that helps connect employers with Union County residents who are looking for work. The site provides a number of services to both employers and those seeking to match up with a hiring company in Florida. These services are available on an individualized or small-group basis, and often in partnership with staff from Work First New Jersey training departments.

Moreover, the agency hosts dedicated job fairs from time to time that can recruit a target population for the specific sponsoring business. Urban League of Union County also sponsors general job fairs to help community residents find employment opportunities with local businesses, including non-profit organizations and government agencies.

Housing is a key focus of TUL. The agency repairs housing, works to prevent evictions and foreclosures, and coordinates weatherization services to make homes more energy efficient. They are a HUD approved agency as well, and therefore offer workshops for first-time homebuyers.

The housing counseling services offered by TUL help clients, including tenants and homeowners, address foreclosures and landlord-tenant issues. This will normally include budgeting workshops as well as sessions to address pre-purchase concerns, mortgage delinquencies and defaults.




The foreclosure-counseling program works with current homeowners to forestall or ideally prevent a foreclosure from occurring. Urban League staff act as liaisons between the client and the loss-mitigation departments of lenders or mortgage companies. These counselors aim to form plans to help defaulted borrowers bring their mortgage payments up to date. Housing counselors help homeowners enter into payment plans or maybe modify their home loans in an effort to avoid foreclosure as well.

Homeowners who are facing foreclosure in Union County can also turn to the Court system. In many cases, judges will encourage mediation to find a solution. It needs to be agreeable to both the lender as well as the borrower.

This court-based mediation program addresses cases filed in the county. Housing counselors and attorneys meet with eligible homeowners free of charge to prepare and submit workout packages to lenders.

Monthly first-time homebuyer workshops inform clients of the positive and negative aspects of homeownership. Sessions are held every month by Union County Urban League or its partners. At the conclusion, certificates of completion are given to prospective homebuyers who satisfy all requirements. In some cases there may be government funding that can make individuals eligible for down payment assistance.

The housing rehabilitation program helps low- and moderate-income homeowners, with a focus on homes with senior citizens, repair their homes. Eligible clients must meet income-level requirements and reside within Union County.

The Housing and Community Development Department is the service that can provide, in limited instances, funds for housing expenses or utility bills. There may be money for rent in a crisis, heating bill help, and even some funds for a mortgage. The options range from no interest loans to other sources of financing. Proof of hardship and other conditions will need to be met.





Utility waivers offered by electric and gas companies in New Jersey may be an option, such as from SHARE. Anyone seeking a payment plan or help on their utilities must be union County residents and cannot be delinquent on any bills. They will need to agree to, and abide by, all future terms and conditions. In addition, clients must provide proof of income, a lease agreement and picture identification.

The Urban League manages a financial empowerment center to help Union County residents maximize their resources and accrue wealth. The agency assists clients with the development of financial plans and provides support as clients work toward self-defined goals. There will be various debt and credit counseling sessions help to meet this goal.

Food is available to individuals and low income families in a crisis. Working with partners, Urban League procures donations of monies and non-perishable food from universities, businesses, churches, local pantries and community members in order to provide this service.

For more information, the Union County office is at 288 North Broad Street, Elizabeth  New Jersey 07207. Dial (908) 351-7200.




By Jon McNamara

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