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6/30/11

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

Poverty Research Institute to Present Data on Combating Poverty to NJ SHARES’ Agency Network

The Poverty Research Institute will present valuable statistics regarding New Jersey’s fight against poverty. The NJ SHARES agency network is the front lines in providing solutions for our struggling neighbors. NJ SHARES provides annual meetings, called interactive dialogues, for the agency network to come together to network.

This year’s interactive dialogue will feature the Legal Services of New Jersey's Poverty Research Institute (PRI), with a special presentation of Poverty Benchmarks. The Poverty Benchmarks Project is an on-going data collection effort that aims to increase understanding of poverty in New Jersey as a foundation for more effective public response to the reality of poverty and its consequences. This report, "Poverty Benchmarks 2011: Assessing New Jersey's Progress in Combating Poverty" is the fifth in the annual series and updates key poverty trends and attendant policy implications."


Interactive Dialogue Meetings to Be Held in August for Agency Partners

NJ SHARES has scheduled a series of Interactive Dialogue Meetings for August, to provide agency staff members of all levels with the opportunity to come and discuss the NJ SHARES assistance programs. The meetings are designed to be interactive sessions, for asking questions and providing feedback. Agency staff members will also have the opportunity to find ways to collaborate with other agencies in the NJ SHARES partner network and in their communities.

The meetings are as follows:

• August 17 – New Jersey Natural Gas, 4415 Wyckoff Road, Wall, NJ, 07719
• August 18 - Atlantic City Electric Main Campus, 5100 Harding Highway, Mays Landing, NJ, 08330
• August 24 - PSE&G Training Center, 234 Pierson Ave., Edison, NJ, 08837
• August 25 - JCP&L Morristown Office – 300 Madison Avenue, Morristown, NJ, 07960

Any questions about locations, schedules or meeting agendas can be addressed to outreach@njshares.org.


NJ SHARES Highlights Successes and Best Practices at National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference

NJ SHARES’ Barbara Gomes, Director of Outreach and Communication presented a workshop this month at the National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference (NEUAC), held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The overarching goal of the workshop, entitled “Fuel Funds Extravaganza – See How It’s done.”, was to share what works, what doesn’t and what innovative methods have been tried in fundraising, meeting clients’ needs and outreach.

Barbara’s presentation explained the need for hardship programs to supplement the Federal Low Income Energy Assistance Program and the New Jersey approach to creating and maintaining an energy safety-net for households under 400 percent of the poverty level. Joining Barbara to give examples of their approach in their respective areas across the country were Anthony Spears of the Community Action Program of Minneapolis and Kathy Kifaya of the Community Action Program of Orange County, California.


NJ SHARES Links Up With Ohio and Missouri to Host Workshop at NEUAC

Jim Jacob, NJ SHARES’ President and CEO joined representatives from Ohio and Missouri in presenting a workshop centering on keeping clients connected to their utilities, focused on arrearage management and enrolled in discount programs. The session explored the vital role these programs play in maintaining the low-income households’ energy security. The workshop was held at the National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference this month.


Director of AARP New Jersey Provides Insights at NEUAC

Jim Dieterle, a founding member of the NJ SHARES Board and NJ State Director of AARP, shared his insights with NEUAC participants in his workshop, “With a Little Energy We Can Do Wonders: Coordinating Programs to Maximize Benefits.”

The workshop was an update to New Jersey’s groundbreaking approach – which he spearheded – to ensuring that needy seniors get streamlined access to programs for medications, food and energy assistance. The session explored the linkages between programs and how to coordinate efforts and databases to increase benefits. This year, 22,871 households who qualified for pharmaceutical assistance such as PAAD or Medicare Part D LIS were automatically enrolled for $6,335,267 in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program benefits in New Jersey.

EXECUTIVE LETTER


Over the last 13 years, NJ SHARES has had a significant impact on the lives of thousands of New Jersey residents who are not qualified for other energy assistance programs. This month at NEUAC, we had a chance to make a difference with families and individuals in other states, by sharing our experiences and best practices with colleagues from around the country.

The conference offered 49 workshops in seven tracks dealing with subjects including energy availability and sustainability, weatherization and energy efficiency, energy assistance and education, energy policy and advocacy, vulnerable populations, energy programs operated by Tribes, and utility and fuel programs. NJ SHARES was honored to have the opportunity to share our experiences in providing holistic solutions to struggling households. We had the chance to hear from Dr. Ruby Payne, author of ‘Bridges Out of Poverty’. Dr. Payne offered a dynamic discussion on positively impacting the education and lives of individuals in poverty. Her message solidifies the NJ SHARES partnership approach. We need to work together on the energy and utility affordability crisis. Innovation and collaboration is the key to combating energy poverty.

The conference, held in Fort Lauderdale, FL, was a timely reminder that energy assistance is an important topic in summer as well as winter.

We are all familiar with the dangers of not having air conditioning, particularly for the elderly, disabled or infirm. When a person’s body becomes overheated, it places undue strain on the heart and blood vessels – the most important components of the body’s natural cooling system. When this occurs, heat stress, heart failure or a stroke may follow. As a result, those with heart problems, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, or a history of stroke need to be extra diligent about cooling their homes. We are highly dependent on the hard work of our agency partners, financial supporters and friends.

Thank you for your continued support!

Jim Jacob

Events

Camden Community Resource and Job Fair Features NJ SHARES Programs

The eighth annual Fatherhood Celebration and Community Resource Fair was held in Camden on Friday, June 17, 2011. The event, supported by various community agencies - including Camden Comprehensive Center for Fathers, Camden County Council on Economic Opportunity, Community Development Institute Head Start, Community Planning and Advocacy Council, and Wawa - connects families with support services available to them and highlights the important role of fathers in the health of children and families. NJ SHARES spoke to attendees about the various telephone, energy and water assistance programs available.

NJ SHARES showcased at New Jersey Association of Counties Conference

The New Jersey Association of Counties held its 61st annual conference in Atlantic City this month. A forum for members to network with their peers from around the state, the conference offered NJ SHARES a great opportunity to distribute information about its services to those in the position to help vulnerable New Jerseyans.
Conservation corner


New Jersey Natural Gas launches Energy Conservation Contest - Save Energy. Save Money. Win Prizes!

New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) launched a fun, new approach to try to educate customers about energy conservation. Save Energy. Save Money. Win Prizes! is a special on-line promotion open to anyone within their service territory. Participants answer 5 energy conservation themed questions to enter for a chance to win prizes instantly or through a monthly sweepstakes. Community organizations, like NJSHARES, also have a chance to win up to $5,000 by encouraging people to play. To play for NJ SHARES, select “non-profit” under the organization list field and type in NJSHARES. Good luck!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of eligible zip codes located in NJ, 18 years and older. Ends 7/20/11. To play and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions visit http://www.njng.com/. Void where prohibited.



New Jersey American Water Offers New Conservation Program to H2O to Help Others Applicants

New Jersey American Water (NJAW) will be launching additional programs for customers this year that will help them reduce their water use. These will include comprehensive water audits by phone, free water-saving retrofit kits and up to $300 for in-home leak repairs and the installation of water-efficient devices. NJ SHARES will make referrals to NJAW’s Conservation and Efficiency Program through the H2O to Help Other’s program.

NJ SHARES administers NJAW’s H2O to Help Other’s Program which provides an assistance grant and a discounted rate to qualifying customers. In 2010, the company provided more than $170,000 in assistance grants to 609 households. The program’s grant monies are funded through a corporate match (up to a total of $25,000) of customer and employee donations. Customers who qualify may also receive a 100% discount on their monthly fixed service charge for water. By December 2010, 560 customers enrolled in this program. To qualify for the H2O program, applicants must have annual incomes at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty guidelines, as provided in the chart below. To apply for the program call: 1-877- NJAWH2O (652-9426).


ACE's Energy SAving Tips


Atlantic City Electric’s Tips to Stay Cool

Keep out the daytime sun with vertical louvers or awnings on the outside of your windows. Draw any draperies, blinds and shades. Keep lights low or off when not needed. Electric lights generate heat and add to the load on your air conditioner.


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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