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1/29/10

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


Pictured are Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, Assemblywoman Linda R. Greenstein, Senator Sandra B. Cunningham, Acting Governor and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, and Assemblyman Upendra J. Chivukula.

Acting Governor Signs Legislation to Provide $25 Million in Funding for NJ SHARES

Acting Governor Stephen Sweeney signed legislation on January 15th to provide NJ SHARES with $25 million in funding for heating bill assistance. The funding, which will be available on July 1, will allow NJ SHARES to assist New Jersey’s limited and moderate income households in crisis who cannot afford their heating bills and do not qualify for the Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

The funds, which have no impact on taxpayers or utility customers, could potentially help 32,000 households stay safe in their homes through the 2010-2011 heating season.

The bill was passed with bipartisan support. Primary sponsors included Sandra B. Cunningham, Upendra J. Chivukula, Vincent Prieto, Wayne P. DeAngelo and Annette Quijano. Acting Governor Sweeney signed the bill at AARP Headquarters in Forrestal Village.

“Providing funding so NJ SHARES can help families and seniors keep warm over the winter is simply the right thing to do," said Sweeney. "Even though economists tell us the recession is waning, we see first-hand how many families still need the type of help NJ SHARES provides. I applaud the hard work of all the legislative sponsors, NJ SHARES and AARP for never letting up until this bill was signed."

NJ SHARES Partners with American Indian Tribe

The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indian Tribe has partnered with NJ SHARES to expand energy, telephone and water bill assistance to their community. The tribe, based in southern New Jersey, already administers the LIHEAP program for their community’s most vulnerable population. The NJ SHARES partnership means the tribe will now be able to offer NJ SHARES assistance to households who do not qualify for LIHEAP and are below the 400% FPL income cap.

According to the 2000 Census, there are more than 3,000 enrolled members of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe in New Jersey. Gail Gould, LIHEAP Coordinator for the Tribe said, “We are excited to bring these valuable programs to the community. I see many families that can benefit from NJ SHARES.”


South Jersey Gas Increases Contributions

South Jersey Gas, already an important and valued contributor to NJ SHARES, has generously increased its program for matching donations, to $25,000.

Every time a South Jersey Gas customer donates to NJ SHARES – noting South Jersey Gas as its utility company – South Jersey Gas will match that contribution, thus doubling the contribution for energy assistance.

Individuals interested in contributing can visit www.njshares.org, and click the ‘How You Can Help’ link. Make sure to document your energy provider’s name – it could be eligible to be matched.


BJ’s Wholesale Club Arranges Donation Program to NJ SHARES

BJ’s Wholesale club is running a special for new and renewing members. For each person signing up, BJ’s will donate $5 to NJ SHARES. This offer is only available by contacting Sarina Mulleavey by email at smulleavey@bjs.com. This offer is not available online or in store.

NJ SHARES would like to thank BJ’s for spearheading this program.


Executive Letter


Jim Jacob NJ SHARES President & CEO

This year got off to a strong start on Jan. 15, when Acting Governor Stephen Sweeney signed into law a bill providing NJ SHARES with $25 million in home heating assistance. Many New Jerseyans have never before faced such difficulty making ends meet, and thanks to the unwavering support of our governor, legislators, partners and friends, NJ SHARES will be able to continue to help more families in crisis this year.

NJ SHARES would like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Acting Governor Sweeney for signing the bill, to former Governor Jon Corzine and former Senate President Richard Codey for their leadership, and to the bill sponsors Assemblyman Chivukula and Senator Cunningham, we express our deepest gratitude for your acknowledgement of the need for limited income households in New Jersey, and for providing assistance for 32,000 households. We also know that this could not have been achieved without our other primary sponsors and co-sponsors. This assistance, which will be available for use by NJ SHARES on July 1, will ensure help for thousands of fixed and lower-income families in next winter’s heating season.

Finally, we sincerely thank our agency partners and Board of Directors for their continued support. As we celebrate this wonderful accomplishment, we also recognize that the need remains. We look forward to working together this year as we continue to strive to obtain sustained funding.

In another great example of the power of community, NJ SHARES has partnered with Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe. This relationship, which is an extension of our agency network, will allow us to work together to conduct outreach and provide much-needed services. We are very excited about this opportunity to expand our reach to the Native American community, and will work to create similar partnerships with other tribes in the state.

This year, NJ SHARES will be putting more effort than ever into networking and outreach. For many, the economy is still in a dire state, and thanks to our friends in government, industry and our partner agencies, NJ SHARES is poised to help those in their time of need.

Best regards,

Jim Jacob

Events


NJ SHARES ‘Night with the NJ Devils’ on Track for Jan. 29

NJ SHARES’ Night with the NJ Devils is on track for tonight. NJ SHARES has sold 159 tickets, and we expect a total of 200 supporters to come out. Verizon and PSE&G are sponsoring the event by donating their box suites, helping NJ SHARES to raise $2100. Look out for our NJ SHARES table on the concourse.


Association for Children of New Jersey Releases ‘Kids Count’ Report

The Association for Children of New Jersey released its Kids Count 2010 report on Jan. 20 at the Trenton Masonic Temple.

According to the organization’s report, from 2005 to 2008, NJ SHARES was able to more than double the number of eligible households it assisted because the state increased funding for the program. Cecilia Zalkind, Executive Director for the organization, remarks on the state of the economy and impact on children in New Jersey. Beginning a new decade in an economic downturn, with widespread job losses, has increased child poverty, the report said.

ACNJ’s report reflected these challenges in the measurements of child well-being. The report shows the state has achieved important successes for children and families. New Jersey has a nationally acclaimed preschool program that changes lives. More than 40,000 young children are enrolled in this high-quality, full-day program that increases their chances of success in school and in life.

New Jersey is also ahead of many states in efforts to provide health coverage to uninsured children. The state has reduced the number of children without health insurance by 11 percent since 2004. It has also doubled the number of needy families receiving state assistance to pay home heating bills. According to the report, these achievements make a real and important difference—for children, for families and for the future of the state, providing a foundation on which to build. For the full report, visit www.acnj.org.



Fifth Annual Call Center Summit Held in Orlando

The 5th Annual Call Center Summit was held in Orlando, FL the week of Jan. 25th. Kim Warrick, Manager of the NJ SHARES client services call center, spoke to the 2000-delegate summit about motivational ideas for call center staffs. The discussion centered on gaining support of upper management and human resources departments, budget issues versus motivation (how you can motivate without breaking the bank), and exchanging motivational success stories.

Warrick also led a peer to peer roundtable discussion on the same topic, providing an opportunity for participants to exchange ideas about what works, or doesn’t work, for their teams. Warrick gained a wealth of information to bring back to NJ SHARES’ call centers.

Agency toolbox


New System Enhancement to be Active by Month’s End

Agencies will receive an automatic alert when a client’s application is denied. Though agencies have always had the ability to track applications throughout the process, the added feature will offer an immediate notification. Because many times clients are eligible to re-apply, the enhanced notification will expedite the re-apply process, providing clients and agencies with timely and accelerated service.

NJAW H20 Application Projected Live Date 2/1/10

On February 1, 2010, the New Jersey American Water (NJAW) electronic application will be available for all New Jersey SHARES agency partners to access. Since October, when New Jersey American Water had partnered with NJ SHARES, clients have been screened for water assistance when calling the toll free number. Now, clients will be able to apply for NJAW bill assistance at any of our 250 plus agency partners. The application process will mirror the process for energy applications. The system will have an income calculator, and the same back-up documents will be required. Details for the agencies can be found on the Welcome page, when logging into the NJ SHARES site. For questions or training on the application, please sign into the site and click the Agency Request Form to schedule an appointment. For clients who would like to know more, please visit the NJ SHARES website, www.njshares.org and click Water Assistance or call 1-877- NJAWH2O.

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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