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6/29/09 Volume 5, Issue 6

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

What's New

Gomes and Jacob at NEUAC

NJ SHARES Participates In NEUAC Conference

NJ SHARES was an active presenter at this year’s National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference (NEUAC), held June 15-17 in Portland, Oregon. The conference included such topics as energy availability and sustainability, outreach and advocacy, vulnerable populations, weatherization and conservation, and energy assistance and education.

NJ SHARES participated in two of the discussion tracks, addressing outreach and vulnerable populations. Barbara Gomes, NJ SHARES Director of Outreach and Communications, presented at the “Grassroots Outreach and Volunteer Training” workshop, where she shared best practices and ideas on effective ways to conduct outreach and collaborative advocacy. NJ SHARES’ Executive Director Jim Jacob presented at another workshop, “LIHEAPing and Bounding into the Void: Addressing the Needs of the Newly Vulnerable,” where he addressed the best way to reach out to people who are facing energy bill payment crises for the first time. Jim also discussed LIHEAP’s expanded income guidelines, and how the changes are expanding LIPHEAP energy assistance to more households than ever before. Jim was a plenary session speaker covering Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives (RGGI), and how RGGI funding is already benefitting vulnerable communities on a local level. Jim also discussed RGGI in a “hot topic” session.

At another workshop, “The New Face of Poverty: Ask the Experts,” Jim Jacob discussed how the challenging economic climate and increased unemployment has led to a more varied constituency for energy assistance. The workshop looked at some of the issues facing the "new poor" and the stresses their needs place on the existing network. More information on NEUAC can be found at

Jim Jacob and Skip Arnold

NJ SHARES Wins National Fuel Fund Award at NEUAC

For a momentous third time in its short history, NJ SHARES was presented the distinguished Victorine Q. Adams award by the National Fuel Fund Network at NEUAC this month. The award, recognizing institutional innovation and achievement, was named in honor of fuel fund pioneer the late Victorine Q. Adams. Skip Arnold presented the award to NJ SHARES executive director, Jim Jacob.

NJ SHARES had a milestone year, successfully creating new partnerships and funding streams. NJ SHARES is the first fuel fund in the nation to secure Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) funds to benefit limited income New Jerseyans. NJ SHARES also partnered with the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to manage and staff their call center answering inquiries on LIHEAP, weatherization and the Universal Service Program (USF). Groundbreaking collaborations with the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey (FMANJ) and the Propane Gas Association of New Jersey (PGANJ) were developed, making deliverable fuel assistance possible for our clients for the first time.

Jim Jacob

Executive Letter

A rainy June provided New Jersey with a temporary reprieve from the usual early summer heat, but as July approaches and the season gets into full swing, many households will find that their incomes cannot stretch to pay for the cooling necessary to keep their homes safe and livable. A lack of cooling often causes life-threatening living conditions, particularly for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

NJ SHARES is pleased to have the funding necessary this summer to help those households in the midst of an electric bill payment crisis to avert heating distress. Thanks to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, NJ SHARES and its partner agencies are in a unique position to help limited income households.

As we look back at the past six months, we have seen the heaviest volume period in NJ SHARES’ 11-year history. We have helped thousands of our neighbors, thanks in great part to Governor Corzine’s unwavering support for helping limited income households in crisis with energy bill assistance. The Governor’s office, the Board of Public Utilities, the legislature, energy and utility companies and our agency partners have provided NJ SHARES with a powerful foundation of resources, energy and innovative ideas to help us forward our mission of helping the thousands of people who have difficulty paying their energy bills. No one should have to choose between buying food or medicine, or keeping their homes safe and comfortable. With all of your support, we can expand our programs to help more New Jerseyans in need.

Best regards,

Jim Jacob


Outreach Events

NJ SHARES participated in many events this month to develop new partnerships to provide assistance. You may have seen us at the Local 68 International Union of Operating Engineers, The Portuguese Festival, The Newark Regional Business Partnership Meeting, The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations Forum, The New Jersey Association of Counties, The Community Partners Service Initiative and Burlington County Office on Aging and the Sheriff’s Department Senior Expo, the Hoboken Housing Authority’s 4th Annual Health Fair, and the National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference.

Citzens' Campaign

The Citizens' Campaign has launched a Jersey Call to Service.

The Call to Service offers citizens who care about New Jersey’s future the political and governmental know-how to make positive changes beyond the ballot.

RECRUIT: The Citizens’ Campaign has partnered with leading NJ businesses, nonprofits and faith-based organizations to identify new leaders to the Call to Service.

EDUCATE: 5 free courses in Leadership Service opportunities are offered. Courses are available online, on demand & in live forums throughout the state. The courses teach you how to get real results from City Hall or take a leadership position.

EMPOWER: Personal coaches are available to mentor new leaders who answer the Call to Service and want to take a leadership role in their community. We also offer an online "Platform for the People" to assist in the development of your own common-interest, public policy proposals.

Contact Lauren at (732) 548-9798 x2 or to see how your organization can become a partner in the Jersey Call to Service.

Save the Date: Anti-Poverty Network Conference

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Anti-Poverty Network's 10th Annual Conference, to be held on December 8, 2009 at the Trenton War Memorial. The Anti-Poverty Network helps resolve poverty-related issues ranging from housing, to energy use to medical problems. NJ SHARES and its partner agencies are strong supporters of helping the Network keep poverty high on the agenda of state officials.

Agency Interactive Dialogue Meeting

NJ SHARES is planning its next Agency Interactive Dialogue meeting July 17, 2009 in Wall, NJ. Two more meetings at different locations will follow in August. The first meeting was held on May 29, with representatives from northern New Jersey agencies attending to share ideas and experiences. The meetings provide an excellent opportunity for NJ SHARES agencies to work together to improve and enhance the NJ SHARES assistance programs.

For more information about the Agency Interactive Dialogue meetings, contact the Outreach Department at

NJ SHARES Night at the Ballpark

Thanks to New Jersey Natural Gas, NJ SHARES will once again have a "NJ SHARES Night" at an upcoming Lakewood Blueclaws minor league baseball game. This year’s event will be held on Friday, July 17, when the Blueclaws face the Lexington Legends. All tickets have now been distributed and NJ SHARES is expecting a fun night of baseball, fireworks and awareness-raising about our energy assistance programs.

At the game, NJ SHARES will gain exposure through prominently displayed billboards, public announcements, in-between innings events, first pitch honor, and a table on the concourse to meet and greet the fans. Thanks to New Jersey Natural Gas for sponsoring this event.
agency toolbox

Verizon Application Updates

You may notice some enhancements to the Verizon application and training packet.

The changes make the process more user friendly. Please sign in and download a new Verizon - Telco training packet for your records.

Feel free to contact the outreach department at if you have questions regarding the updates.

Income Calculator

The new income calculator is currently being tested internally. We expect to be fully operational in a few short weeks.

The calculator automatically calculates an applicant's income based on the household size and gross monthly income information that you provide. This pre-application calculation is the first step to identifying eligibility in the application process.

If your client falls under or over the income guidelines the system will give you a message or letter explaining the client is either above or below our income guideline. The message can be printed and given to your clients.

This new feature and other programmatic changes will be discussed at the Agency Interactive Dialogue Meetings.

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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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