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10/28/10

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

LIHEAP to Open on Nov. 1; Cap Set at 200% of Federal Poverty Level

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is set to open on Nov. 1 and will run through April 30, 2011. This year, the cap will be set at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), down from 225% last year. LIHEAP is designed to help low-income families and individuals meet home heating and medically necessary cooling costs.

The 2011 LIHEAP applicaton is also an application for the Universal Service Fund (USF), 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.

For further information on LIHEAP or USF, call 1-800-510-3102 or visit www.energyassistance.nj.gov.

NJ SHARES Will Help Clients 201%-400% of the Federal Poverty Level

With the LIHEAP cap rolled back this year to 200% of the FPL, NJ SHARES will assist households with pretax income that is more than 200% and less than 400%. NJ SHARES plays a valuable role in New Jerseyís energy safety net, assisting clients who earn too much to qualify for LIHEAP, but are still struggling to pay their energy bills.


NJ SHARES Client Call Center Staff

NJ SHARES Client Services Call Center Turns Five

This month, the NJ SHARES client services call center celebrated five years of Client Service Excellence.

Dennis Pappano, a NJ SHARES Clients Service Specialist, took the very first call into the Hamilton-based Call Center for the Verizon Communications Lifeline and Link-Up America Program on Oct. 14, 2005 at 10:27 am. We continue to assist Verizon clients with program benefits, questions, outreach and applications.

In celebration of five years, NJ SHARES wishes to thank the call center staff, of whom several members are part of the original team (JoAnn Conte, Dennis Pappano, Jennifer Schwarz and Kimberly Warrick), our agency allies and our Verizon partners.


Pictured from left to right are Barbara Gomes NJ SHARES, Don Carter Elizabethtown Gas Vice President and Jodi Gidley President of Elizabethtown Gas.

NJ SHARES Receives $20,000 Grant from Elizabethtown Gasí AGL Foundation

The AGL Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Elizabethtown Gasís parent company, AGL Resources, has provided NJ SHARES with a $20,000 grant. The grant will be used to provide assistance to Elizabethtown Gas customers in New Jersey who are struggling to pay their gas bills. This grant will make a true difference to households in crisis.
president's letter


Jim Jacob, NJ SHARES President & CEO

NJ SHARES celebrates another key milestone this month, with our fifth anniversary of the NJ SHARES Call Center. The milestone was celebrated during National Customer Service Week.

Our first call center was launched in 2005 to service the Verizon Communications Lifeline and Linkup program. It quickly set the stage for NJ SHARES to be a valuable touchpoint for those in need, and an important mechanism for linking clients with affordable telephone service.

Our inaugural call center also led the way for NJ SHARES to expand and use our expertise to assist the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) with its call center, to answer client inquiries for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Universal Service Fund (USF) energy assistance programs.

Both the NJ SHARES Client Services Call Center and the DCA Call Center have been outstanding learning experiences, providing us with the opportunity to share best practices about matching people with programs, both in New Jersey and nationwide.

In just a few days, LIHEAP will open and NJ SHARES will ready itself for another heating season, helping those in crisis who do not qualify for LIHEAP and other assistance programs.

To our agency partners, utility and energy company allies, supporters and friends, thank you in advance as we again gear up to ensure our New Jersey neighbors stay warm this heating season and avoid the tragedies associated with unsafe measures to light and heat their homes.

Best regards,

Jim Jacob

Events


Pictured: Jim Jacob - NJ SHARES and Ciro A. Scalera - Verizon NJ

NJ SHARES Board Member is honored with the Ann Klein Advocate Award

Ciro A. Scalera was honored with the Community Health Law Projectís Ann Klein Advocate Award at a celebratory dinner at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange on Oct. 21. The award is to recognize distinguished public service in improving the lives of those with disabilities.

Mr. Scalera, Public Affairs Director for Verizon NJ, has spent a lifetime career working and supporting non-profit activities that have helped low income, elderly, disabled, and especially children achieve a better life. Prior to his position at Verizon, Mr. Scalera was the Executive Director for Association for Children of New Jersey, which is now known as Advocates for Children of New Jersey. He left there to serve as Chief of Management and Policy for the New Jersey office of Governor Donald DiFrancesco.

Mr. Scalera joins James Dieterle, State Director of AARP, in Ann Klein Advocate Award recipients who serve on the NJ SHARES Board of Trustees.


NJ SHARES Presents at Atlantic City Electric Low Income Summit

Atlantic City Electric hosted more than 100 social service providers at its Low Income Summit on Oct. 13 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. NJ SHARES President and CEO Jim Jacob presented at the summit, describing the NJ SHARES program to participants. The Low Income Summit was aimed at providing a forum to equip service providers with valuable information and tools to better assist Atlantic City Electric's low-income customers, many of whom have challenges with their energy bills.


Pictured: Michelle Roers of United Way Morris County, Thomas Hayes NJNG and Barbara Gomes NJ SHARES.

New Jersey Natural Gas Hosts Community Forums

New Jersey Natural Gas hosted three community forums throughout their service territory to give nonprofit, government and other organizations the most up-to-date information on programs and resources for clients. NJ SHARES participated and presented at each event.

New Jersey Natural Gas Holds Energy Assistance Days For Its Customers

New Jersey Natural Gas also hosted a series of Energy Assistance Days this month in communities throughout its service territory to help customers with the application process for the Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Sessions were held in Manahawkin, Long Branch, Asbury Park, Keansburg, Toms River, Lakewood and Mine Hill.

NJ Devils to Host NJ SHARES Night on Jan. 20

The NJ Devils will host a NJ SHARES night on Jan. 20, 2011 at 7 pm to help raise awareness for NJ SHARES and its programs. Come out and see the Devils take on the Pittsburg Penguins at the Prudential Center in Newark. As a NJ SHARES supporter, you have the opportunity to purchase mezzanine/balcony tickets at a discount of $38 and lower level/corner/ends tickets for $68. To purchase tickets call Jake Rinaldo, Devils Group Sales, at (973) 757-6167.


Devils Box Seats to Raise Funds for Energy Assistance

Treat your Devils fans to a holiday gift of watching the game from the vantage point of a box seat. Thanks to our friends at PSE&G and Verizon, Box seats, including food and soft drinks, are available for $100 each.

Box tickets are only available for the January 20, 2011 Devils game against the Pittsburg Penguins. For information about box seats, contact Barbara Gomes at bgomes@njshares.org or (609) 883-1201.

Agency Toolbox


Agency Toolbox:

On October 25, all intake agency partners were issued updated energy packets with the new income charts through the intake agency system email. These materials are effective November 1, 2010.

These updated packets along with useful tool materials will be ready for download on November 1, 2010. Our agency partners can find this information on the agency-only access Welcome Screen.

Questions can be directed to outreach@njshares.org.

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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