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4/26/2013

You are receiving Sharing Neighborhoods as a registered subscriber. Sharing Neighborhoods is a publication of New Jersey SHARES, on the web at www.NJSHARES.org.

What's New


http://www.njshares.org/media/new-jersey-shares-2012-annual-report.pdf

NJ SHARES PUBLISHES ANNUAL REPORT

We’ve published our annual report! To view it, please visit: http://www.njshares.org/aboutNJShares/annual-report.asp

Along with the usual financial statement, statistics and program impact data, our report highlights Barbara Offredo, an NJ SHARES recipient who works as a hospice nurse while raising two boys on her own. Barbara is one example of more than 175,000 of our New Jersey neighbors we have been able to help since 1998. These achievements would not have been possible without your ongoing support. We want to thank you for your past support and hope you will continue to support our efforts to help New Jersey households in crisis. To make a contribution, please visit http://www.njshares.org/howYouCanHelp/index.asp.

LIHEAP CLOSES APRIL 30

The deadline to apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is April 30. This federally-funded program assists eligible families and individuals with their energy bills. The New Jersey plan provides help with heating, emergency crisis and medically necessary cooling costs.

The Universal Service Program (USF) can assist households with their energy affordability needs extending past the April 30 LIHEAP deadline. USF helps lower gas and electricity costs for eligible households and was designed so that eligible New Jersey residents do not have to pay more than 6 percent of their annual income for their gas and electric utility service. Applicants whose incomes do not exceed 175% of the federal poverty level may apply for USF year-round.

NJ SHARES serves as a safety net for those who do not qualify for USF or other energy assistance programs. We are here to assist those who are unable to meet their energy burden due to circumstances beyond their control - such as unemployment, illness, medical expenses or other financial hardship. Helping to pay the energy and utility bills of households in need, NJ SHARES offers grants which are funded through the support of donors and its statewide network of more than 270 community-based social service agencies.


LIHEAP ACTION DAY

NJ SHARES joined the National Fuel Funds Network, in Washington on April 10 for LIHEAP Action Day, a day of advocacy for the federal energy assistance program. More than 100 people spent the day on Capitol Hill for meetings with their Congressional delegations, urging them to restore funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to at least $4.7 billion for Fiscal Year 2014.

According to a recent NFFN advisory, over the last three years, funding for LIHEAP has been reduced by 37 percent dropping from $5.1 billion in FY 2010 to $3.5 billion for the current fiscal year. These funding cuts have resulted in smaller assistance grants and fewer households served, severely limiting the program’s effectiveness.
President's Letter


Jim Jacob, President & CEO

I recently attended the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Action day in Washington, D.C. sponsored by the National Fuel Funds Network. During this annual event, which took place on April 10, energy assistance organizations from throughout the country meet with our elected officials and their staff members to thank them for supporting fuel funding programs which provide critical resources for so many of their constituents and make them aware of the need for continued and increased funding.

I had the opportunity to meet with Representative Holt and Representative Runyan, members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation, and personally thanked them for their support of LIHEAP and for their commitment to helping New Jersey families in crisis. These meetings gave me the ability to share individual stories of New Jersey residents who are benefiting from the ongoing efforts of our elected representatives as they work to maximize the dollars available for energy assistance in New Jersey.

I am pleased that I was able to attend this important advocacy day on behalf of NJ SHARES, which brought together LIHEAP advocates from across the country. It is critical that our elected officials continue to provide support for fuel funding programs that provide much-needed financial relief and critical utility services to those facing a financial crisis.

It is important to note that the LIHEAP program will close for the season on April 30. Until the program starts again in October there are options available for income-eligible households that are still struggling to pay their utility costs. The NJ Board of Public Utilities’ Universal Service Fund (USF), administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, is available year round. USF helps lower gas and electricity costs for eligible households and was designed so that eligible New Jersey residents do not have to pay more than 6 percent of their annual income for their gas and electric utility service.

At NJ SHARES, we serve as a safety net for those who do not qualify for USF or other energy assistance programs. We are here to assist those who are unable to meet their energy burden. In addition to providing grants to households in need, funded through the support of our donors and a statewide network of more than 270 community-based social service agencies, we also connect low and moderate income households with resources that are available to them.
Our Partners: Agency Spotlight


Pictured: Claire Willetts, Program Coordinator at Project Self-Sufficiency.

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.

According to an impact evaluation of NJ SHARES conducted by Applied Public Policy Research Institute for Study and Evaluation (APPRISE), 51% of our grant recipients had a child 18 or younger in the home.

Strengthening individuals and families is no easy feat. It is no wonder that nearly 15% of our partners across the state are family success centers focused on just that.

This month we want to spotlight Project Self Sufficiency.

Last year, Project Self-Sufficiency of Sussex and Warren Counties assisted more than 1,300 families with multiple services illuminating the possibilities and inspiring hope through education, job training, parenting skills, legal assistance, computer training and a supportive atmosphere. “These are families of many different shapes, sizes and backgrounds, but all are united by a common goal – to make sure the vicious cycle of poverty ends with them, so that their children can grow up in a world filled with hope and opportunity, said Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director.” For more information, visit: http://www.projectselfsufficiency.org/.
Events

Caesars Entertainment Life Fair

NJ SHARES participated in Caesars Entertainment’s Community Life Fair held in Atlantic City on April 15. The event, which encourages community growth and development, gave NJ SHARES along with other community stakeholders an opportunity to provide participants with information on valuable services and programs in these tough economic times.


Pictured are Dena Shipley from NJ SHARES and Sue Pniewski from MOCEANS.

Brick School District Hosts 3rd Annual Transition Fair

NJ SHARES’ partners with MOCEANS at the 3rd Annual Brick Township Transition Fair on April 15. The event, which provides classified post graduate students with information and community resources, highlighted NJ SHARES' energy, water and telephone assistance programs.

Catholic Charities Advocacy Day

NJ SHARES showcased program information at the 2013 Catholic Charities Advocacy Day held on April 25th at St. Ann's in Lawrenceville NJ. Catholic Charities invited their consumers to a day of information and advocacy on support services that are necessary to our vulnerable population. The event is held annually to encourage people to advocate for themselves, as well as their communities. Consumers learned about energy assistance, mental health support services, and housing and community development programs. Workshops promoting assertive advocacy, housing and community resources were conducted.

New Jersey SHARES | www.njshares.org
1901 North Olden Avenue Extention Suite 1-A | Ewing, NJ 08618-2111
Phone: 609-883-1626 | Toll Free: 866-657-4273 | Fax: 609-883-6364 | Email info@njshares.org
Copyright 2013, NJ SHARES.
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New Jersey SHARES
1901 North Olden Avenue Extension, Suite 1A | Ewing, NJ 08618
Phone: 609-883-1626 | Toll Free: 866-657-4273 | Fax: 609-883-6364 | Email info@njshares.org
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