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President's Letter

Jim Jacob, President & CEO

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

So far, 2018 has brought us cold, unpredictable winter weather that has stretched well into spring. When you take this unstable, frigid weather and the approaching summer heat, and couple it with a growing population living paycheck-to-paycheck, any temporary hardships –  like employment status or health issues – can leave many New Jersey residents struggling to pay their utility bills. 

Recently released statistics from the United Way ALICE project (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) reports that 1.3 million households in New Jersey cannot afford a basic monthly budget covering food, housing, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone. The project also reports that 41 percent of New Jersey households, largely concentrated in Essex, Cumberland, Hudson and Passaic counties, are impoverished.

There are programs available to help ease this burden. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federal energy assistance program designed to help low-income families and individuals with their home heating costs ends for the season on May 31.  Those who apply for LIHEAP may also be eligible for the Universal Service Fund (USF) – a year-round New Jersey program that makes natural gas and electric bills more affordable for low-income households.

Those who miss the application close date for LIHEAP can also turn to NJ SHARES for help. NJ SHARES has continually served as a safety net for New Jersey residents unable to pay their utility bills due to circumstances beyond their control – like unemployment, illness, medical expenses or other financial hardship – for more than 20 years. NJ SHARES also helps those residents who do not qualify for governmental assistance programs or those who fall into the gaps between program application periods.

Consistent with our mission to be a safety net for households in crisis, NJ SHARES is adjusting its minimum income guidelines from 200 percent to 175 percent of the federal poverty level in order to help those who would normally qualify for LIHEAP after the application period closes.

Additionally, myself, NJ SHARES’ Barbara Gomes and AARP Volunteer and NJ SHARES Board member Jim Dieterle are all slated to present at this year’s National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) Annual Conference in late June. Read more about our presentation topics in the article about the conference below, and if you are able, feel free to join us in Phoenix!

As always, I would like to thank our valued donors and partners throughout the state. It is because of their generous support that we have been able to continue to provide our neighbors throughout New Jersey with the energy assistance they need.


Jim Jacob


What's New

National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) Annual Conference

At the end of June, NJ SHARES President and CEO Jim Jacob and Development Director Barbara Gomes will present at the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jim Jacob will team up with AARP Volunteer and NJ SHARES Board member Jim Dieterle to present in the Vulnerable Populations track titled Focus on Aging. The workshop will cover potential solutions for utilities, energy assistance non-profit organizations, state governments and others to employ to address the needs of 40 million caregivers nationwide. 

Barbara Gomes will join her counterparts from Dollar Energy Fund, Washington Area Fuel Fund, the Fuel Fund of Maryland and Operation Fuel to present a workshop in the Fundraising Beyond LIHEAP track for a workshop titled Mission Moment Events. The NJ SHARES Ice House fundraiser from earlier this year will be highlighted among the Ice House movement in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States.

More information can be found at:

The NJ SHARES Agency Advisory Council poses with certificates at the May Council meeting.

Agency Advisory Council Recognized for Service

NJ SHARES’ Agency Advisory Council is comprised of a small group of representatives from the NJ SHARES agency partner network. This group convenes quarterly to advise the NJ SHARES Board on the trends they are observing during the application process. 

Our agency partners are the greatest advantage to a household looking for assistance. Having a personal connection to help guide clients through the overwhelming processes of finding programs that fit the household needs is often what makes the household successful in obtaining self-sufficiency in the long-run.

NJ SHARES Board Chair Alita Corbett and President and CEO Jim Jacob signed certificates celebrating our partners and thanking them for their service.

Pictured here are members of the NJ SHARES Agency Advisory Council, Richard Ferreria from Catholic Charities, Erika Woods from Freehold Open Door and Kathy McCarey and Marvin Goodson from Essex County Community Action poses with NJ SHARES’ Outreach Coordinator Dena Shipley and Development Officer Barbara Gomes.

New York LIFE Conference

On May 19th, NJ SHARES joined the Anti-Poverty Network (APN) at the New York Low Income Forum on Energy (LIFE) conference to present a workshop on Inequality and Poverty: Using Social Research to Inform Policy. The workshop took a look at the disparate access to opportunity that is imbedded in social structures.

Working to help low-income New Yorkers address energy issues, LIFE is a statewide dialogue that brings together organizations and individuals committed to addressing the challenges and opportunities for safe, affordable and reliable energy.

Please note: APN Executive Director Renee Koubiadis and Jim Jacob will present this material during a general session at the National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference next month.


NJ SHARES Supports New Jersey Social Workers at NASW-NJ’s 2018 Annual Conference

NJ SHARES is proud to participate in the annual National Association of Social Workers New Jersey Chapter’s 2018 Conference and Exhibition in Atlantic City. NJ SHARES was on hand at the conference to speak with social workers and share valuable information with them about our utility assistance programs.

Carole Tonks from the Alliance Center for Independence poses with NJ SHARES Dena Shipley and Barbara Gomes at the Abilities Expo.

NJ SHARES Exhibited at Abilities Expo

Earlier this month while exhibiting at the 2018 New York Metro Abilities Expo, NJ SHARES had the opportunity to catch up with our friends and community partners from Bayada Nurses, Dawn Independent Living Center and Alliance Center for Independence.

Marc Molde from Dawn Independent Living Center visits Barbara Gomes at the Abilities Expo.

The annual expo is the go-to source for people with disabilities, seniors, veterans and their families, as well as healthcare professionals. The three-day event is also a great opportunity to talk about our utility assistance programs to caregivers and others in need.

NJ SHARES Exhibits at Burlington County Senior Expo

On May 10th, NJ SHARES was proud to exhibit at this year’s Burlington County Senior Exposition, hosted by the Burlington County Freeholder's Office and the Sheriff's Department. Each year, the expo is 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.

Pictured at the Passaic County Wellness Fair are Veronica McMahon, Supervisor for Passaic County,  Jahneille Edwards PSE&G Public Affairs Specialist, Dena Shipley Outreach Coordinator for NJ SHARES and Rosa Pagnillo Lopez, Payment Assistance PSE&G.

NJ SHARES Participated in the Passaic County Senior Health Fair

On May 7th, NJ SHARES participated in the Passaic County 2018 Senior Extravaganza Health & Resource Fair.  The event, held at the Passaic County Department of Senior Services in Totowa, included a wide variety of community vendors and county departments providing health screenings, presentations and educational materials.

NJ SHARES Takes Part in Glassboro Parks and Recreation Energy Assistance Event

On May 17, NJ SHARES was proud to take part in Glassboro’s Parks and Recreation’s Energy Assistance Event. Here, NJ SHARES’ Kimberly Warrick helps an applicant complete an Atlantic City Electric Helping Hands Application onsite at the event.

Find out more about all of the utility assistance programs NJ SHARES offers here:

Pictured are NJ SHARES’ Kimberly Warrick who joined NJ SHARES Board Member Gina LaPlaca of Verizon NJ onsite at the event to talk with attendees about our Communications Lifeline program.

Meet the Decision Makers: NJ SHARES and Verizon NJ Team Up at Annual NJBIA and NJ Chamber of Commerce Event

On May 16, NJ SHARES teamed up with our friends at Verizon NJ at the Meet the Decision Makers, an event sponsored by NJ Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) and New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. More than 100 business leaders attended this month’s event in Cranbury.

NJ SHARES’ Kimberly Warrick (pictured, right) joined Judy Rogozinski of Atlantic City Electric at the NJ SHARES table, where there was information available to festival attendees about the NJ SHARES assistance programs.

NJ SHARES Exhibits at Cape May County Coast Guard Community Festival

NJ SHARES exhibited at the Cape May County Coast Guard Community Festival at the Coast Guard Training Center Cape May – the only active boot camp for Coast Guard recruits in the nation. Each year, the festival honors men and women of the United States Coast Guard and celebrates the county’s designation as a Coast Guard Community with a variety of demonstrations, activities, vendors and more.


NJ SHARES Attends NJ Conference of Mayors’ 2018 Spring Conference

NJ SHARES featured its programs at this year’s NJ Conference of Mayors' Spring Conference held in Atlantic City. The three-day event featured presentations, panels, vendor exhibitions, networking and more. NJ SHARES’ Kimberly Warrick (pictured) was onsite to answer questions and provide information on NJ SHARES utility assistance programs.

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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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