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What's New

NJ SHARES Recognized for Transparency and Accountability

NJ SHARES has been recognized by GuideStar USA, Inc., for its commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability and has been designated by the group as a gold member of the GuideStar Exchange. 
The GuideStar Exchange connects nonprofits with current and potential supporters by collecting, organizing and presenting information to potential donors, ensuring the public has access to important information necessary to make charitable giving decisions. With millions of visitors to, GuideStar enables nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with its many audiences. As a recognized, gold-rated member of the GuideStar Exchange, NJ SHARES will be able to highlight its accountability and transparency to the online donor community. 
"A big part of fulfilling our mission is our long-held practice of transparency and accountability concerning every aspect of our work on behalf of our constituents," said Jim Jacob, NJ SHARES’ President and CEO. "We are engaged in exciting initiatives, and we are thrilled to have another platform for communicating our advancement and progress."


The next Dine-Out-To-Donate event to benefit NJ SHARES will be held Wednesday, October 9th at the Stage House Tavern (1719 Amwell Road) in Somerset from 11:30 a.m. – Midnight.   Mark the date on your calendars today and plan on joining us for a night of food, fun and fundraising!
Assemblyman Chivukula plans to celebrate his special birthday day with us! Please come out and wish him a happy birthday. A portion of the sales check for each party that says they are there to support NJ SHARES will go directly to our organization to further help NJ residents who are struggling to stay warm or keep the lights on! To make your reservation today, call the Tavern directly at (732) 873-3990.

Low Income Home Energy Program Opens October 1st

Energy costs can add a significant burden to family budgets. Whether a family or individual is on a limited income or faced with unanticipated financial hardship, there are energy-assistance and home energy-improvement programs available. 
LIHEAP to Open on October 1st; Cap Set at 200% FPL – The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is set to open on October 1, 2013. The cap will continue to be set at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). LIHEAP is a seasonal program designed to help low-income families and individuals meet home heating and medically necessary cooling costs. 
Universal Service Fund Serves Our Most Vulnerable Neighbors - The 2013 LIHEAP application is also an application for the Universal Service Fund (USF).  USF is a New Jersey program that makes natural gas and electric bills more affordable for low-income households. To be eligible, a household must have income at or below 175% of FPL, and pay more than 3% of its annual income for electric, or more than 3% for natural gas.  If a household has electric heat, it must spend more than 6% of its annual income on electricity to be eligible.  
Fresh Start is a component of the USF program and possibly the most valuable part for our clients. If a household is enrolled in the USF program, and is successful in meeting twelve of the required discounted payments within the first fifteen months of enrollment, the client’s past due balance will be forgiven – essentially creating a fresh start for clients. For further information on LIHEAP or USF, call 1-800-510-3102 or visit

Poverty Research Institute Releases Report

Legal Services of NJ’s Poverty Research Institute (PRI) released the annual Poverty Benchmarks report with grim findings.  Using census data going back to 1959, the report shows that NJ’s 10.4% poverty rate in 2011 has not been surpassed in the last 50 years. The report documents a staggering 2.7 Million people or nearly 1/3 of the population in our state face significant deprivation at or below 250% or below the federal poverty level.  Perhaps more alarming, PRI dedicates section four to Poverty and Work explaining that working fulltime and year-round does not ensure a life devoid of poverty. 
More detailed information on their top findings including record child poverty, record food poverty, continued high unemployment, large numbers of medically un-insured, and extreme poverty correlating with school performance can be found, at Poverty Benchmarks 2013: Assessing New Jersey’s Progress in Combating Poverty

President's Letter

Jim Jacob, NJ SHARES' President and CEO

The cold weather season is approaching and for those who struggle with home heating costs, help is available. October 1 marks the start of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a seasonal program designed to help low-income families and individuals pay for heat. An application to LIHEAP also provides access to the Universal Service Fund (USF), a New Jersey program that makes natural gas and electric bills more affordable for low-income households. 
New Jersey Comfort Partners is another program available to income-eligible households.  This program improves energy affordability through the direct installation of energy efficiency measures and personalized energy education and counseling. The Comfort Partners Program is available to any New Jersey household with significant electric and gas use and an income at or below 225% of the federal poverty guidelines.  
For those who need help paying their utility bills but do not qualify for these programs, NJ SHARES offers a safety net to meet their energy and utility burden. Through assistance, advocacy, community outreach, education, information and referral, we work to connect low-income, working-poor and moderate-income households with available resources.  
NJ SHARES is committed to accountability and transparency surrounding all our interactions on behalf of our constituents. In recognition of our efforts in this regard, I am proud to announce NJ SHARES has been recognized by GuideStar USA, Inc. for demonstrating a commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability. We are have been designated as a Gold member of the GuideStar Exchange, which collects information on nonprofits for potential donors so they can make informed charitable giving decisions. 
I must recognize and thank our 300-plus agency partners who help us provide critical resources and information as we work together to keep New Jersey residents warm throughout the upcoming fall and winter seasons. 


Pictured are: Dena Shipley, NJ SHARES Outreach Coordinator, Vince Maione, ACE Region President and Alita Corbett, ACE Outreach Manager.

Atlantic City Electric Hosts Energy Assistance Summit

On September 10th, Atlantic City Electric invited social service agencies in Southern, NJ to the Mays Landing headquarters for a energy assistance forum designed to equip service providers with valuable information and tools to assist Atlantic City Electric's low-income customers, many of whom have challenges with their energy bills. 
NJ SHARES’ Dena Shipley, Outreach Coordinator joined a panel of speakers on energy assistance programs and had the opportunity to present program information to the local agencies and answer questions on the energy, telephone and water assistance programs available to the communities. Workshops covered topics such as ACE’s Customers Service Procedures, Super Storm Sandy Preparation and Response, Understanding Retail Electric Suppliers, Conservation Programs and an analysis from LIHEAP customer surveys that can help social service providers understand client behavior.

Fran Wise Director of Community Investments, Atlantic & Cape May Counties United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey

Economic and Energy Assistance Expo Held In Cape May County

The Economic and Energy Assistance Expo, held at Christ Gospel Community Church in Whitesboro, was hosted by Atlantic City Electric and the United Way.  Representatives from Atlantic City Electric, South Jersey Gas, and other Cape May County social service providers were available to discuss assistance programs and service options available in the community. The community was invited to be screened for eligibility in programs and resources available to households who need assistance.

Pictured: Dena Shipley, NJ SHARES and Bill Bradshaw, NJNG.

New Jersey Natural Gas Hosts Energy Assistance Days in Monmouth, Morris and Ocean Counties

This month, New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) hosted 13 Energy Assistance Days throughout their service territory. These annual events provide an opportunity for the community to learn how to manage energy bills and prepare for the winter season.
NJ SHARES attended the events to interact with the public and build awareness of the programs and services available to the community.  Program representatives were onsite to determine which programs best fit client needs and assist with the application process. 

Agency Spotlight

Photo: Pictured from left to right, Chesha Hodge, Vanessa Medrano, Executive Director Pastor Carolyn McCombs, Dana Cureton, Rosa Lopez.

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.  This month we welcome the New Destiny Family Success Center to our network. This group will now be able to screen clients for NJ SHARES programs.
New Destiny Family Success Center (NDFSC), located in the heart of Paterson’s downtown historic district, is part of the revival of new life in the Paterson renaissance.  It serves as a “home away from home” for more than 500 families in the community.  Directed by a very small staff of two full-time support workers and a host of parent volunteers from the local community, the NDFSC, is often one of the few places a parent, family or young adult can come when they don’t know where else to turn.  
“We are pleased to partner with NJ SHARES to bring another resource to our families who are striving toward self sufficiency”, said Pastor Carolyn McCombs, Executive Director for the New Destiny Family Success Center.
The NDFSC serves as a satellite extension of the One Stop Career Center (in partnership with the Workforce Investment Board of Passaic County) providing employment readiness services and is in the process of partnering with the Passaic County Drug Court to identify resources to support individuals in recovery on their journey to self-sufficient living. 

Agency Toolbox

Agency partners should have received a system email with the updated income charts for the LIHEAP and USF programs. Case workers can log-in to the NJ SHARES system and download the new program packet. These materials are effective October 1, 2013 when LIHEAP opens for the season. These updated packets along with useful tool materials will be ready for download on October 1, 2013. Our agency partners can find this information on the agency-only access Welcome Screen. Questions can be directed to

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
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
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