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New: Text Your $10.00 Donation to NJ SHARES!
Anyone can now text the word SHARES to 80077 to make a $10.00 donation to NJ SHARES.
All donations go directly to help your New Jersey neighbors in need of help with their energy bills.
So please donate today!
Poverty Increasing Amongst Seniors
Significant numbers of elders are facing rising costs of living and it is becoming increasingly harder for the aging population to make ends meet. Data also shows that the elderly are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.
The Elder Economic Standard Index (Elder Index) is a measure of economic security for older adults developed by Wider Opportunities for Women in collaboration with the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The Elder Index benchmarks basic costs of living for elder households. It illustrates how costs of living vary geographically and are based on the characteristics of elder households: household size, housing status (homeownership or renter), transportation and health status. The costs are for basic needs of elder households; they are based on market costs and assume no subsidies.
It is not surprising that the Elder Economic Standard Index documents that when older people own their home outright, are in relatively good health and reside in areas where cost of living isnít too high, they can get by on a relatively modest amount of money. But throw in a mortgage and poor health, and the amount of income needed to live independently quickly skyrockets.
Jim Jacob, NJ SHARES President & CEO
In New Jersey, this means that many cannot meet their basic living expenses whether they live at the Federal Poverty Level or the level of the average Social Security benefit. This is true of elders statewide, whether they rent or own a home. If housing costs are incurred and social security is the only income sources folks will be having difficulty. Housing Costs put a heavy burden on elder households, significant healthcare costs and life changing circumstances add to the burden. Day-to-Day necessities like food and heat can contribute to a fiscal hardship.
New Jersey SHARES is working closely with the Anti-Poverty Network on this issue. We hope to provide planners, policy makers, and legislators with data to make important policy decisions. Our friends at the Foundation for Aging and NovaDebt provide education and resources on this topic. For more information, visit:www.njfoundationforaging.org and www.novadebt.org.
Pictured: Olivia Barthelson administers the NJ SHARES programs at the Hamilton Senior Center.
Hamilton Senior Center
NJ SHARES is fortunate to partner with more than 270 agencies around the state. Each organization has a different mission and focus but all provide holistic solutions to their community.
Many of our partners around the state provide senior services, more than 10 percent of our partnersí missions are senior service focused. In fact, our outreach and growing partnerships have proven our Energy and Utility programs are serving more of the senior population. According to an evaluation of NJ SHARES conducted by Applied Public Policy Research Institute for Study and Evaluation (APPRISE), 21% of our grant recipients had a household member over 60 years old.
This month we want to spotlight a partnering Senior Center. The Hamilton Township Senior Center focuses on enriching the quality of life for Hamilton Township Seniors. The Center is a community focal point where older persons can gather together for activities and services, which enhance their dignity, support their independence and encourage involvement in and with the community. Programs and activities offered include health & fitness, education, recreation, socialization and volunteerism.
US Department of Health and Human Services Issues 2013 Federal Poverty Guidelines
The US Department of Health and Human Services has issued the 2013 Federal Poverty Guidelines which is the measure used to determine eligibility for most programs.
The changes affect the NJ SHARES program caps for energy, telephone and water assistance programs. All income rules have been updated and will be effective Friday, February 1, 2013.
NJ SHARES Energy, Verizon Communications Lifeline and New Jersey American Water Assistance Training Packets and Useful Tool materials are updated to reflect the income guideline policy change. NJ SHARESí partner agencies can download this information from the intake system. For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Build With Purpose Offers Sandy Recovery Help to Non-Profits
Over the past several months, Build with Purpose (BwP) has been helping nonprofits in New Jersey recover from Hurricane Sandy. As a community development organization dedicated to helping other nonprofits with their real estate needs, BwP has been helping schools and nonprofits assess storm damage and implement recovery plans including finding financing, securing contractors, approvals and permits. They are also helping groups to navigate available economic assistance including FEMA and newly created loan pools such as REBUILD New Jersey.
If your nonprofit sustained damage from Hurricane Sandy, Build with Purpose is available to help. They are also working with philanthropies through their Sandy relief efforts to identify groups that fall within priority recovery areas that are still in need of assistance.
For more information please contact Keith Timko at 732-635-1000 X152 or email@example.com. You can learn more about Build with Purpose by visiting www.bwpurpose.org.
FEMA Extends Deadline To Register For Hurricane SANDY Assitance
Survivors of Hurricane Sandy now have until March 1, 2013, to register for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. People with storm losses in all counties in New Jersey can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. Registration is also available by calling 800-621-3362, TTY 800-462-7585 or 711/VRS. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week.
The Small Business Administration Agency (SBA) has also set March 1 as the date for homeowners, renters and business owners to complete and return SBA disaster loan applications. Visit www.sba.gov or call 800-659-2955, TTY 800-877-8339 for more information.
Discount Heating Oil Available Through Citizenís Action Group
Discount heating oil is available through Citizenís Action Group, an organization that provides members with hundreds of dollars a year in savings on their oil heating bills. The organization was formed in 1983 to provide consumers with an alternative to the high cost of heating fuel. All New Jersey residents and businesses who heat with oil are eligible. Citizenís Action Group uses bulk purchasing power to negotiate discount prices for members. To learn more visit: www.njcaoilgroup.com.
Updates To All Program Packets.
On February 1, the NJ SHARES energy, telephone and water program income charts will be updated to reflect the Federal Povery Guideline update.