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President's Letter

The impacts of the extreme weather this heating season coupled with the economic climate are a major struggle for New Jersey’s working poor and limited income families.

Many of our neighbors are not only faced with choices of ‘heating or eating’, their challenges have also included layoffs or loss of hours at work, expired unemployment benefits, higher costs for public transportation, imminent higher property taxes, and, of course, high energy bills.

We are all aware of the economic impact of recession, but for many working people in our state, particularly those with low wage jobs or no health insurance, the crisis is that much more intense. One financial shock, such as a car or major home repair, can nudge a hard-working family toward the poverty line.

During the heating season alone, the Department of Community Affairs Call Center, operated by NJ SHARES, received more than 180,000 calls. Agencies throughout New Jersey have been striving to match those in need with funding assistance.

NJ SHARES plays a key role in extending not only the energy safety net, to meet the needs of those who are not eligible for Federal and State programs, but also provide other safety net programs for folks who need telephone and water bill payment assistance.

We would like to express our appreciation to our many supporters and friends who continue to make our programs possible. Together we will work toward maintaining and reinforcing the energy safety net – and strengthen New Jersey’s families at the same time.

Best regards,

Jim Jacob

What's New

NJ SHARES Attends Anti-Poverty Forum in Monmouth and Ocean County

NJ SHARES participated in a public discussion concerning poverty and New Jersey’s progress in combating it. The forum was held on Monday, May 9th at Georgian Court University and focused on Monmouth and Ocean county statistics of poverty.

Reverend David L. Stoner of the Anti-Poverty Network and Sister Mary-Paula Cancienne, RSM welcomed the group and shared the values of the Sisters of Mercy. Sisters of Mercy are an international community of Roman Catholic women religious vowed to serve people who suffer from poverty, sickness and lack of education with a special concern for women and children.

According to a report presented by Zane Kratzer, Sr. Researcher and Policy Analyst for the Poverty Research Institute, the real cost of living in NJ indicates that a family of three would need $55,000 to sustain their household. The Federal Poverty level suggests vulnerable households to be earning around $34,692. Monmouth and Ocean county residents need to earn $57,000 and $60,000 respectively to sustain their households.

Lakewood, located in Ocean County is the second poorest in the state following Camden. Food Insecurity is at an all time high and households are spending 50 percent of their income on rent. Food and shelter are not the only concerns. 14.9 percent of NJ households lack health insurance due to inability to access it. To darken matters, 18.9 percent of children do not have health insurance in NJ; the national average is 15 percent.

The Georgian Court University students presented stories behind the statistics and demonstrated some sustainable solutions to homelessness in Ocean and Monmouth counties.


Pictured: Joyce Campbell, NJS Board Chair, Barbara Gomes and Dena Shipley, NJ SHARES.

NJ SHARES Partners with the New Jersey Social Workers Conference

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) held its annual New Jersey Social Workers’ Conference from May 1st through 3rd. The conference themed ‘Weathering the Storm: Skill Building for Social Work Practice’ was held at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. NJ SHARES had the opportunity to speak with the state network of social workers who can potentially offer the NJ SHARES programs as part of their holistic solutions for clients. The New Jersey Chapter of NASW, with over 7,600 members, is the major professional social work organization in the state.

NASW is committed to advancing professional social work practice and the profession; and to promoting human rights, social and economic justice, and unimpeded access to services for everyone. Its members work in hospitals and other health care settings, community agencies, government, academia, business, nursing homes, schools, and private practice.

NJ SHARES Attends Women’s Conference to Spread the Word on Energy Assistance

The 2011 NJ Governor’s Conference for Women was held on Tuesday, May 3, at the Atlantic City Convention Center. NJ SHARES used the conference as an opportunity to bring our message about energy assistance to attendees. The conference was aimed at supporting and empowering women to improve the communities in which they live.

Women’s Health Week

On a national level, May is a time to recognize women’s health issues, featuring National Women’s Health Week (May 8-14), a weeklong health observance coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. This year’s theme is ‘It’s your Time’. The National Women’s Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority, emphasizing exercise, good nutrition, health screenings, avoiding risky behaviors and paying attention to mental health.

Abilities Expo Showcases NJ SHARES Programs

The New York Metro Abilities Expo was held May 20-22 at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison. The conference is dedicated to educating and improving the lives of Americans with disabilities, senior citizens, families, caregivers, healthcare professionals, professional therapists and corporate administrators. At the conference, NJ SHARES team members educated the general public on programs available to them, as well as seek out new agency partners with particular emphasis on disabilities.

Burlington County Sheriff's Senior Exposition

NJ SHARES joined the Burlington County Sherriff’s Senior Exposition on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. The expo was designed to inform seniors of services available to them, as well as provide answers to any questions they may have regarding organizations with whom they already interact. NJ SHARES highlighted the telephone, water and energy programs available.
Conservation Corner

New Jersey Resources to Build Solar Field

New Jersey Resources Clean Energy Ventures, a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources will invest $18 million to build a solar power system capable of producing 3.6 megawatts of electricity or enough to power 450 homes every year.

“The investment of a solar system at the Village at Manalapan site is consistent with our core energy strategy,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources. “What’s more, it represents an investment in New Jersey’s economic development, environment and energy future, and that’s good for us all.”
The clean energy division of New Jersey Resources is leasing 13 acres in Manalapan to build a "solar field" of ground-mounted, crystalline panels. The energy generated will be fed into the power grid through the wholesale market. New Jersey ranks second in the nation in the use of solar power, according to the state Board of Public Utilities. New Jersey Resources is the parent company of New Jersey Natural Gas Company.

ACE's Energy Saving Tips

As we head into the cooling season Atlantic City Electric (ACE) provides some tips on how to stay cool.

Myth-Buster: Turning your air conditioner to a lower than normal setting will cool the home faster. This is FALSE. It will not cool faster; it will cool to a lower temperature than necessary and use more energy. Set your temperature at 78 degrees, a reasonably comfortable and energy-efficient indoor temperature.

For those with a 'green-thumb', plant shade trees strategically around your home. Properly selected and planted shade trees can save up to $80 annually on the average electric bill.
Atlantic City Electric has published a brochure, “85 Ways to Save Money and Energy.” The brochure highlights how to save energy. To view the brochure, visit:

New Jersey SHARES |
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
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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
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