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8/31/09

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

RGGI Funding Available for Electric Bill Assistance

NJ SHARES would like to remind its agency partners that Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) funding is still available for electric bill payment assistance statewide, and will continue to be available for the foreseeable future.

RGGI funding – which comes to NJ SHARES via quarterly auctions held by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities – will be available for electric bill assistance for at least the next 12 months.

NJ SHARES would like to thank the Board of Public Utilities for its ongoing allocation of RGGI funding, and for its commitment to helping New Jersey residents who are struggling with electric bill payment crises.



NJ SHARES Participates in Home Energy Assistance Conference

This month, NJ SHARES participated in the New Jersey Home Energy Assistance Training Conference, held August 12th through 14th at the Trump Marina in Atlantic City.

The conference provided NJ SHARES with an excellent opportunity to take part in program development, training and networking with intake agency partners from around the state who refer people to the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Universal Service Fund (USF).

At the conference, income eligibility guidelines for the 2009-10 heating season were announced: Eligibility will remain at 225% of the Federal Poverty level. Last season’s increase to 225% from 175% resulted in the home energy assistance program serving 35% more households throughout state; in the coming season, the broader eligibility criteria is expected to help even more households.

At the training conference, NJ SHARES Call Center manager Kimberly Warrick provided participants with a presentation, sharing procedures and best practices or addressing client queries. Last March, NJ SHARES started handling calls for both LIHEAP and USF, and Kimberly drew on these experiences to inform and educate other conference participants.

One of the key messages of the Home Energy Assistance Training Conference was that home energy assistance helps New Jersey thrive – through providing bill payment assistance, weatherization funding and energy efficiency guidance. The conference was educational, informative and a great opportunity for NJ SHARES staff to interact with its partners in the home energy program.



National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week is September 14-19

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners announced in July that September 14th through 19th will be National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week. NJ SHARES is pleased to be partnering with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and Verizon NJ to publicize this important event.

National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week will be used to increase awareness of state “Lifeline” programs, designed to provide seniors, low income families and other needy individuals with low, or no-cost, telephone landlines. The goal of lifeline programs, which are funded by the national Universal Service Fund and administered on a state level, is to combat isolation among low income people, and help them keep in touch with family or caregivers.

Information about the Communications Lifeline program can be accessed on NJ SHARES’ website, via http://www.njshares.org/otherPrograms/communications-lifeline.asp.

executive Letter


NJ SHARES’ efforts to help low, moderate and fixed-income people with their energy bills goes beyond heating and cooling – we also provide assistance programs for water and telephone service. In the coming month, we are delighted to be partnering with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and Verizon NJ to promote a very important awareness raising event: the National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week, set for September 14th through 19th nationwide.

For many low and fixed-income people around New Jersey, having a telephone is a luxury they cannot afford. Yet for the most vulnerable – the elderly, disabled or those with small children – a lack of a phone can mean the difference between life and death. The National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week is a great opportunity for regulators, utility companies and non-profit organizations to join together to spread the word about the Communications Lifeline programs.

The New Jersey Communication Lifeline program, which provides landline service to eligible households for no charge or as little as $2 a month, is one of the most vibrant programs in the U.S., with more than 120,000 New Jersey households currently benefitting. The program, run by Verizon NJ and administered by NJ SHARES, aims to reach as many households as possible through creative outreach and streamlined communications.

Phone service is a year-round concern, and NJ SHARES is delighted to have the opportunity to promote the New Jersey Communications Lifeline program with its partners, Verizon NJ and the Board of Public Utilities. Together we can assure that no New Jerseyans suffer from life-threatening isolation due to a lack of phone service.

Best regards,

Jim Jacob

Events

NJ SHARES Connects With Communities

NJ SHARES continues its ongoing effort to get in touch with New Jersey residents and agencies to inform them about the various programs provided by the organization. So far in 2009, NJ SHARES has attended 132 community outreach events statewide. The event types vary but they are consistent in creating awareness of the programs and building strong community partners. Below is a sampling of the Events we have attended this month.


Monmouth County Residents Learn About NJ SHARES

On August 20, Monmouth County residents had the opportunity to learn about NJ SHARES and other NJ social services and health benefit programs at the Monmouth County Community Resource Fair, sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers. The fair, which was held at Monmouth University, hosted some agencies that are already partnered with NJ SHARES, such as Monmouth Cares, Monmouth County Division of Social Services, and Jewish Family and Children Services of Greater Monmouth County. The event provided an excellent opportunity to reach out to eligible residents of Monmouth County and give them the information necessary to connect them with our services.

NJ SHARES Reaches Veterans At Career Fair

NJ SHARES had the opportunity to extend information about our services to nearly 3,000 veterans from Iraq and 100 Air National Guardsmen at the NJ Veteran’s Career Fair and Education and Support Services Expo held at the Atlantic City Convention Center on August 16th and 17th. The event sponsored by Governor Jon Corzine and Senators Robert Menedez and Frank Lautenberg, provided various career, education services and resources networks to the recent veterans to help them make a smooth transition home from overseas.

Congressman John Adler's Energy Expo Gives Communities Information and Resources

On August 26, 2009, NJ SHARES participated in this Summer’s second Energy Expo hosted by Congressman John Adler of New Jersey’s 3rd District. About 25 organizations and 300 attendees filled the Burlington County Institute of Technology in Westampton for the event, which aimed to provide constituents of the district (comprised of most of Burlington and Ocean Counties, as well as Cherry Hill) with information about how to conserve energy and cut energy costs. Clean energy companies also gave insight on how consumers can go green in their homes.

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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