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Member Spotlight


The strength of the Anti-Poverty Network is our members. We speak with a strong voice because we speak together. We advocate for thoughtful, practical recommendations for state action because we dialogue about how best to invest limited resources. And we present a clear, compelling depiction of poverty in our state because we are informed by the work being done on-the-ground every day.

This blog series provides the chance for us to celebrate the work being done by individual partners, to learn more about specific efforts, and to explore the ways that all of our work are linked together.


If you would like to share about the work being done by your agency, please contact Elizabeth at elizabeth@antipovertynetwork.org.


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  • 17 Sep 2015 1:14 PM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)

    Grace Egan, Executive Director of the NJ Foundation for Aging, spoke with APN about NJFA's work:

     

    What does the organization do?

    The Mission of the NJ Foundation for Aging (NJFA) is to promote services that enable older adults to live in the community with independence and dignity. NJFA’s four areas of focus are: Policy Research and Briefings to educate policymakers about age related issues; Public Awareness to connect older adults to community services; Professional Development to improve and promote innovative services for older adults; and when possible Philanthropic Support to expand services that enable older adults to live in the community.


    Who does the organization help?

    NJFA’s activities are intended to reach boomers seniors, caregivers and professionals. Through NJFA’s public awareness activities, including Renaissance magazine, the Aging Insights public access TV programs and social media, NJFA reaches approximately 400,000 people each year. These services are designed to connect caregivers and seniors to community services. NJFA’s policy research and briefings are targeted to legislators in an attempt to create policies that would increase access to food and nutrition programs, community transportation, and affordable housing options. NJFA also offers professional development forums for people who work with older adults, which focus on best practices and policy.   


    What does poverty look like in the agency’s work?

    Across New Jersey, 43% of seniors living alone or in elder couple households live in or on the edge of poverty. This equals more than 255,000 seniors - or 25% of the all NJ residents over age 65. These statistics highlight the need to connect seniors to services. They are often underrepresented in public benefit programs for numerous reasons including lack of knowledge of where and how to apply, lack of transportation, general hesitancy to admit the need, or their belief that others need it more than they do.  

     

    Why is NJ Foundation for Aging a part of APN?

    APN offers NJFA a platform for collaboration, and enables NJFA to provide other APN partners an understanding of senior issues, including barriers to receiving aid. NJFA’s involvement in APN ensures that the issues related to older adults are part of statewide dialogue on the scope of poverty in our state and possible solutions.



  • 15 Apr 2015 1:01 PM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)

    The New Jersey Coalition to End Homelessness is a charter member of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, and APN is proud to share this great information about their new initiative. 


    The New Jersey Coalition to End Homelessness (the Coalition) is excited to introduce a new program beginning this summer called the Garden State Leaders.  This free program will be held at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ.  We ask you to spread the word and encourage qualified applicants to apply at www.njceh.org/gsl.


    The six sessions, to be conducted over six months, are designed to build leadership skills among those who have direct experience with homelessness.  Each session will focus on a different topic related to advocacy and leadership development, such as effective communication, the legislative process, working with the media, and how to get involved and advocate within your community. 


    Participants will work closely with other advocates and key non-profit leaders throughout the state, have opportunities to interact with local and state government officials, and learn how to navigate county government and the NJ State House.  One session will include a trip to the State House and meetings with elected officials and staff.


    The program has two primary goals:

    1. To help build leadership skills and the confidence participants need to increase their capacity to take on influential roles on issues pertinent to their lives. 
    2. To bring more individuals who have direct experience with homelessness around the table throughout the state in order to make a stronger case for anti-poverty advocacy efforts, particularly as they relate to those who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes. 

    “The solutions for ending homelessness in New Jersey must come from the leadership of those affected,” explains Laura Rodgers, the Coalition’s Board President and Senior Director, Mental Health Services for Jewish Family Service of Atlantic County.


    Renee Koubiadis, a Coalition board member and Advocacy Coordinator for the National Association of Social Workers - NJ Chapter explains, “Many social changes have come from those who are oppressed taking direct action to change policy for themselves and others.  We look forward to engaging homeless and formerly homeless New Jersey residents in learning how to do just that.”


    A few other states have implemented similar programs with successful outcomes.   For example, in Washington State, the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance has completed two sessions of its Emerging Advocates program.  One program graduate, Thomas Green, a formerly homeless veteran says, “When I learned how easy it is to be heard by my representatives, I also realized that all those life experiences I was so good at minimizing were exactly the stories the elected officials need to hear.”  


    For more information or questions, contact Kate Leahy, Director of Operations and Communications for the Coalition at: kleahy@njceh.org.

  • 14 Jan 2015 8:00 AM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)

    Member Spotlight: New Jersey SHARES

     

    What does the organization do?

    New Jersey SHARES  (NJS), is a non-profit 501(c)3 statewide organization that helps households that have fallen behind on their utility bills due to a temporary financial crisis.  NJS partners with 242 human service agencies, faith based organizations and legislative offices to provide critically needed assistance to families that are not eligible for other programs. In addition to the NJS energy assistance program, we administer water assistance programs for United Water Company and NJ American Water. NJS also partners with Verizon NJ to provide a unique, comprehensive and compassionate solution for Verizon low-income customers eligible for the Communications Lifeline program.

     

    Who does the organization help?

    We know that a financial crisis can happen to anyone, regardless of age, income, or family situation.  NJS serves working poor, moderate and fixed income households. The majority of the households that we serve have incomes under 300% of the federal poverty level. In a high cost state like New Jersey, their income does not provide a safety-net when the unexpected happens.  NJS provides that safety-net for our neighbors in crisis across New Jersey.


    What does poverty look like in the agency’s work?

    In the stories we hear everyday, poverty looks like the devastating trade-offs that people have the make when their income and resources just can’t cover all of their necessary expenses. Our partners address a broad spectrum of client needs by providing case management services and assisting households with counseling, nutrition, housing, employment, as well as utility issues. Working together with our partner agencies we provide a holistic solution to the household’s temporary or ongoing needs

     

    Why is SHARES a part of APN?

    NJS is committed to assisting low- and moderate-income households across our state and we share the APN’s goal to prevent, reduce and end poverty in New Jersey. We strive to reduce the utility related challenges for low- and moderate-income households and see our partnership with APN and its members as the vehicle to energize change for our neighbors in New Jersey.


    Jim Jacob is President of New Jersey Shares.

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