Wednesday, March 28, 2012

US Chamber of Commerce program to hire veterans

Here is a link to MSNBC's video about the US Chamber of Commerce's program for finding jobs for veterans and their spouses:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kiwanis Club of Jackson
P. O. Box 505
Jackson, NJ 08527
March 28, 2012
Press Release: for immediate release
Contact: Larry Meegan, (732) 363-2765

Community groups to rally for the homeless April 22

Community service groups from Ocean County will join together to sponsor a festival and rally in support of the county’s homeless Sunday, April 22 at 12:30 p.m.

The event will present educational forums for the homeless, their supporters, and government officials; networking opportunities for the homeless and those who advocate for them; and a simple meal.

Other activities will include health screenings, grooming stations, voter registration, musical entertainment and a time to recognize the groups who have helped the homeless in the past.

The four-hour event will be held in Lakewood’s town center on Clifton Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets. It will conclude with a discussion of ending homelessness as a social justice issue and a Q&A session with the homeless and public participating.

Volunteers from many local groups will staff the event.

Government leaders will be invited to participate.

The public is invited to attend this event free of charge.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Family Promise of Southern Ocean County

DIRECTORS UPDATE from their weekly newsletter:

Thank you to Ocean Community Church and all their volunteers for hosting our guests this week.
Thank you to Wright Memorial Church for supplying the day center with all of the requested needs as well as to all the individual volunteers that stopped by the Day Center to drop off needed items. All the items will be used as we go through them quickly.

If anyone knows of any rentals between Manahawkin to Little Egg Harbor area with 3-4 BR that Gabe and Pam may be interested in, please let me know. Additionally, if anyone knows of any rentals in the Toms River/Beachwood area that Melissa can rent please let me know. Both families are on a time limit in order to get the support for the program.Please keep them in your prayers that they soon will find a 'place to call home'.

Mandy and Jenna are still looking for employment; We are still in need of assisting Gabe with cost of of the toolbox or if someone knows someone that has a good used one as it will be very helpful for his new job.

Please limit the snacks to healthy snacks for the children and kid friendly meals if possible. Although it may seem to be a treat, it is very difficult if there are lots of sweets in eye's view for the children to see when they are having their meal.

Additional Needs-
We need to get our weeks filled in for May. If anyone can see if their congregation is willing to take a week or an additional week that would be great.
Within the next few weeks as it get warmer, we will be in need of someone to cut the grass and keep the weeds from growing at the Day Center at least 1 x per month. Please let me know if you are able to assist.
We are in need of meals and overnights during the week at the Training Lodge at the Boy Scout camp the week of 4/29. We also have that Friday and Sat opened as the scout camp cannot accommodate.

Employers sought help from the NY Daily News in connecting with veterans

Hire Me! Veterans: Employers, readers inspired by News’ series that shed light on veteran unemployment

A Female Black Hawk helicopter pilot. A Marine platoon leader. A Navy Seabee.

All of them served their country bravely. All of them have been looking for jobs.

Today marks the last installment of Hire Me! Veterans. Over the course of the eight-week series, we strove to shed light on the crisis of veteran unemployment by profiling veterans battling for jobs.

The response has been overwhelming.

Read more:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


TRENTON - Working to preserve residents’ eyesight with proactive services, the Department of Human Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) is encouraging New Jerseyans to get regular vision screenings to save their sight, as part of National Save Your Vision Month.
Last year, through targeted outreach such as mobile eye examination units, on-site screening and special outreach programs for people with diabetes, the CBVI provided vision screenings for over 42,000 people, of whom 8,300 were referred for necessary follow-up.
It is estimated that 118,000 New Jerseyans over the age 40 are blind or visually impaired. Loss of sight impacts quality of life, medical costs, work productivity and various other economic factors totaling about $51.4 billion a year, nationally.
“Regular vision screenings are essential to maintaining eye health,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “Taking the time for an eye screening can reduce the risk of vision loss and help detect systemic and chronic diseases like diabetes. Our eyes are as important as our cholesterol levels, heart health and bone density.”
March is recognized as National Save Your Vision Month. Research has shown that 50 percent of cases of blindness or severe vision loss could have been prevented by early detection of disorders and the appropriate follow-up care. Studies also have found that over 33 percent of people with Diabetes did not know that they had it until a regular eye screening identified a change to blood vessels in the retina.
“For over 30 years, the Commission has been providing statewide eye screenings in an effort to promote eye health, especially among residents who may be underinsured or uninsured,” said Vito DeSantis, Executive Director at CBVI. “Eye exams are a vital part of protecting eyesight and quality of life.”
CBVI performs eye screenings in nearly every county at least once a month. A mobile unit also can be dispatched to your community by contacting the Commission at: (973) 648-7400 or Toll Free (877) 685-8878.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ocean County CDBG meeting schedule

The Ocean County Community Development Block Grant Program meeting schedule and timeline:

Public hearings for Ocean County, Brick, Lakewood Toms River & Jackson
Cafeteria, 129 Hooper Avenue, Toms River (3rd floor)
Tuesday April 3 @ 4 pm

Public hearings for Ocean County, Brick, Lakewood Toms River & Jackson
Cafeteria, 129 Hooper Avenue, Toms River (3rd floor)
Thursday, April 12 @ 4 pm

Presentation to the Board of Freeholders, Preboard meeting
101 Hooper Avenue, Toms River (3rd floor)
Wednesday, April 25 @ 4 pm

Board of Freeholders meeting
101 Hooper Avenue, Toms River (1st floor)
Wednesday, May 2 @ 4 pm

Submit consolidated/action plan to HUD
May 11

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lakewood approves request to use Town Center for homelessness fair

I have been told that Lakewood has granted us permission to hold a homelessness fair at its town center, Clifton Avenue between Third & Fourth Streets, Sunday, April 22.
The fair will recognize and thank groups that have helped the homeless; establish networks and link the homeless and those groups that help them; conduct seminars to educate people at three levels (helpers, the homeless, and government officials) about ways to survive homelessness and how to better assist the homeless; demonstrate there is a lot of support from the community for the homeless; and provide a meal to all who attend the event.
Our plans include having information tables from local assistance groups, enabling them to tell of the services they offer; bringing in local government officials who will share their successes in helping the homeless; provide health screenings; and hosting a panel discussion to address homelessness as a social justice issue.
Volunteers from local community service organizations will staff the event.
If your group would like to participate or co-sponsor the event, let me know: .
Stay tuned.  More information will follow soon.

Star Ledger reports on veteran's job market

New Jersey veterans at job fair say $9,600 tax credit for employers has improved career prospects

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Is Philadelphia's mayor for real?

City of Brotherly Love? NOT!

It's soon going to be illegal to feed the homeless and hungry in public locations.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter wants to ban community organizations from feeding the neediest in city parks.

Borrowing from Dan Rackley, a freelance writer, on PhillyNow online: Nutter has launched what is essentially an attack on Philadelphia's less fortunate and the people who wish to give them a helping hand.

Nutter says he wants to keep the homeless safe and have access to mental health and medical services. Homeless advocates say "Baloney," the goal is to remove the homeless from high-visible, tourist areas.

The Board of Health's draft regulation will require groups to submit an application and follow other rules. Violators would receive a warning from police. After two warnings violators would be hit with a $150 fine. If adopted at the Mar. 22 vote the ban will take effect about mid-April.

Check the following media for a full report:

Washington Post:
Huffington Post:
Philly Now:
My Fox New York:

Financial Literacy Series: Homebuyer Program

TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Library will host a three-part homebuyer’s program to promote awareness of Financial Literacy Month.

The Home Buyer Program, presented by Money Management International and the PNC Foundation, will cover the steps to be taken in the home purchase process. It will discuss such topics as budgeting and credit usage, how to obtain a mortgage, shopping for a home, the appraisal and inspection process, the mortgage closing and life as a homeowner.

Each participant will receive a workbook for the sessions.

A person must register and satisfactorily complete all three sessions to receive a HUD certificate that certifies the recipient had received six hours of home-buyer training conducted by a certified HUD specialist.

The programs will be held at the Toms River branch of the Ocean County Library Thursday April 5 at 7 p.m.; Friday April 27 at 10 a.m.; and Thursday May 3 at 7 p.m.

This program is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Register in-person, by telephone (732) 349-6200 or (609) 971-0514 or online at .

Money Management International (MMI) is the largest nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency in the United States. MMI is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA.) PNC Foundation partners with community based nonprofit organizations to enhance educational opportunities for children and to promote the growth of communities.

Family Promise of Southern Ocean County

Excerpts from the Director's Report (3/15):

We understand that several of you have not been receiving the weekly update. After closer examination we realized that the updates were not being sent to anyone whose email was through Comcast. We have corrected the problem with them and hopefullyyou are receiving this update. If not, please let us know.

Thanks again to the Great Bay Gospel Fellowship for hosting our families again for the third successive week. We truly appreciate their hospitality and are so grateful that we did not have to house these families in motels.

We will be having a Coordinator’s Meeting on Wednesday, March 28, at 6:30 PM at Ocean Community Church, Manahawkin. For those of you who have not seen the new training video, I will be having a showing at 6PM. Please let me know if you will be attending by Tuesday 3/27. All coordinators and support team members are welcome and are encouraged to attend.

If you have seen the article in the ASBURY PARK PRESS, you may have noticed several errors. The article mentioned that Family Promise will host up to 14 families; it should have stated 14 individuals. Also the article was misleading in not all of our hostsites have showers and kitchen facilities.

I am available to visit your congregation to train volunteers on Family Promise. The training will include a brief video and discussion period. If your volunteers have not been trained, I hope you will consider hosting a training session. It is a good way to help volunteers understand their role in supporting the families in the program.

As you know, our families spend a good deal of their time at the Day Center and we are in need of many supplies. If you can help out with any of the items listed below, we would truly appreciate your generosity. You can drop them off anytime at the Center. List of items needed:
Toilet Paper
Paper Towels
Baby Wipes
Liquid Hand Soap
Dishwasher Detergent
Bottled Water
Juice for the children
Coffee Creamer
If you prefer, we could also accept gift cards for the local food stores, Walmart andTarget.
We could also use plastic storage bins for the families’ clothing and other items. When they come to the Center, we do not have a place for them to store their “stuff.”
We also have a particular need for a Roll-away Tool Box for automotive tools.

Also for the Day Center we need a desk and a copy machine.

We would also like to have the backyard fenced so that the children can enjoy the beautiful weather we are having and hope to have in the spring and summer without worrying about their running into the street.

Thank you again to all of you who made meals this past week and who continue to give us the support we count on for our program to be successful. We cannot do this without our volunteers and you have all been a source of strength and encouragement for me and for our families.

May God continue to bless all you angels.

Kind Regards,Cheryl Polo, DirectorFamily Promise of SOC
338 South Main Street
Barnegat, NJ 08005

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ocean County CEAS Committee this coming Monday

The CEAS Committee is scheduled to meet Monday, March 12th at 9:30 am

From Jennifer Valdez, Commissioner of the NJ Dept. of Human Services

Dear Stakeholder:
It has been a busy start to the New Year. Fiscal year 2013 budget discussions are well underway; in fact last week, I testified on the status of the comprehensive Medicaid waiver.
I hope you all received my post-budget address email, which outlined the Governor’s proposed restructuring of state government and this department’s role. To summarize:
·         On July 1, programs and services for seniors will move from the Department of Health to DHS to form the new Division of Aging Services, which will be led by Kathy Mason, with Nancy Day continuing on that leadership team. Jeanette Page-Hawkins will continue to manage the Division of Family Development, along with her Deputy Director, Natasha Johnson.  Both divisions will report to the Department’s newly appointed Deputy Commissioner, Lowell Arye, former policy advisor to the Governor and expert in the fields of aging, disability and anti-poverty issues.
·         Another significant part of the Governor’s plan is to integrate all programs, services and supports that serve children into the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Over the upcoming fiscal year, all children – including children now served by the Divisions of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health and Addiction Services – will transition to DCF.
·         And, Graduate Medical Education and the Hospital Relief Subsidy Fund, currently managed by DHS’ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services will transition to the (newly-renamed) Department of Health, which is also responsible for the distribution of Charity Care funding.
It’s important to note that funding for Olmstead and community services for both DD and mental health consumers has been increased. In addition, the Governor boosted funding for the community services waiting list. Programs and services among the Department’s other divisions were kept whole.
On a final note, March is a big month for service designations. It’s National Brain Injury Awareness Month, Professional Social Workers’ Month, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and Save Your Vision Month. We expect this month’s department activities to include proclamations, letters to the editor and a few press releases. We’ll be sure to forward them to you as the month progresses.
Jennifer Velez

Lacking Medicaid Waiver, NJ Postpones Overhaul of Long-Term Care

Officials assure Assembly Budget Committee lost of anticipated savings won't lead to cuts
By Beth Fitzgerald, March 1, 2012 in Education

Massive changes to the state's long-term care program will be delayed at least six months, as officials continue to await the federal government's approval to their request to change how nursing homes and home care are reimbursed under Medicaid. The state has asked the feds for a Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver, which will allow them to encourage more of New Jersey's elderly to remain in their homes for a longer period of time, rather than force them to move to a nursing home.

Family Promise of Southern Ocean County

We have taken another guest family in yesterday. Jenna- allergic to pine nuts, Andreu 7 yo and Miguel 5yo- allergic to mushrooms

I have been writing a grant for OceanFirst Foundation this week and submitted it yesterday afternoon. Let's hope for the best!A Huge Thank you to Great Bay Gospel Fellowship for hosting this week and continue to host the guests next week too! They have had a great week and I am so delighted they want to help us!

Gabe has found a full time job and looking for assistance with reduced cost childcare. If anyone knows of anyplace please contact Cheryl.

Melissa is continuing to seek housing for her and her children in the Toms River area. She will also need furniture and beds and mattresses. If you know of anyone that is looking to donate it and it is in good condition please let me know.EMAIL UPDATE ARCHIVES ADDED TO OUR WEBSITE: We now have all of our past email updates available on our website. They are accessible from the main top menu or directly from this link.-
Kind Regards,Cheryl Polo
DirectorFamily Promise of SOC

Appellate Court Invalidates Reorganization Plan that Abolished Council on Affordable Housing

Fair Share Housing: Gov. Christie is not Above the Law

March 8, 2012 - Trenton, NJ - The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey today invalidated Gov. Christie's abolition of the Council on Affordable Housing, ruling that New Jersey's State Constitution and statutes do not allow Gov. Christie to unilaterally abolish independent agencies. The court reversed a reorganization plan adopted by the Governor in 2011, stating that neither New Jersey's Constitution nor statutes gave him the power to adopt the plan.

"The Governor's role under the constitution is to enforce the laws, not to make them," Fair Share Housing Center Associate Director Kevin D. Walsh said. "The Appellate Division properly found, based on a careful reading of the original intent of New Jersey's statutes and constitution, that Gov. Christie simply does not have the power to unilaterally abolish independent agencies he doesn't like. In doing so, the Court properly protected the independence of agencies such as the Election Law Enforcement Commission, State Ethics Commission, Public Defender, and dozens of other agencies that would have been subject to gubernatorial abolition if the plan for COAH had been upheld. The Court required the diverse interests represented in independent agencies to have a voice, as the Legislature intended."

The appellate court, which relied on quotes from Associate Justice Antonin Scalia on the proper separation of powers in the original meaning of the Constitution, rejected Governor Christie's argument that the constitution gave him unlimited power to change the structure of state government, stating that "While the framers of our Constitution intended to create a strong executive in the office of Governor (perhaps the strongest in the United States), they also recognized the need to insulate functions and agencies from executive control."

The Court ruled that "[w]ithout clear direction in the Reorganization Act that it should apply to independent agencies, there is no basis from which to infer that the Legislature intended to permit a governor to undo such a balanced representation scheme through a reorganization plan." It further concluded that "application of the Reorganization Act requires an explicit legislative mandate to warrant the abolition of an independent agency, rather than generic language, in order to subject such agencies to reorganization or, as here, to abolition."

"As the court properly found in quoting authorities such as Justice Scalia and New Jersey's constitutional drafters, Governor Christie's actions are inconsistent with our democratic form of government," Mr. Walsh said. "The Governor must in all his actions be limited by our statutes and constitution, and not create new powers without basis in law."

The decision, which is available here, reinstates COAH's board and authority over municipal fair share obligations. The Court noted that the Legislature sent Gov. Christie a bill to abolish COAH in January 2011, and that if Gov. Christie had wished to abolish COAH he could have signed it. Having chosen not to, he could not then go around the Legislature to abolish COAH himself.

This decision marks Governor Christie's third strike on changing the state's policies for providing housing for working families, people with special needs, and seniors. He first attempted to eliminate COAH through Executive Order 12 in February 2010. The Appellate Division enjoined that order and Governor Christie then rescinded it. In early-2011, the Governor tried, but failed, to persuade the Legislature to adopt his preferred housing policy through legislation after the aforementioned veto. The governor then vetoed legislation that would have abolished COAH because he felt that municipalities should never be required to provide housing opportunities for lower-income families, seniors, and people with special needs.

The COAH reorganization plan was proposed on June 29, 2011 and went into effect 60 days later. The plan was immediately appealed by the Center, and the Appellate Division accelerated its briefing and argument in view of the public interest nature of the matter.

Fair Share Housing Center, founded in 1975 is based in Cherry Hill. It is the only public interest organization devoted entirely to defending the housing rights of New Jersey's poor through implementing the Mount Laurel doctrine, which requires that each municipality provides its fair share of housing affordable to low- and moderate-income people.

NJ State Sen. Richard Cody tests homeless shelters

On Monday night, Jimmy Peters had nowhere to go. The mentally ill man had just been released from the psychiatric ward of a local hospital. Dressed in worn out clothes, the bearded man, with tattoos all over his body, set out to find a place to sleep for the night.
State Senator Richard Codey played the role of Jimmy Peters on Monday as he went undercover to determine how a homeless mentally ill resident could survive. Codey, who served as New Jersey Governor for 14 months in 2004 and 2005, has long been an advocate for the mentally disabled.
NBC News reports that Codey took to the makeup chair for over an hour on Monday to get prepared for the role. He wore a fake beard and had phony tattoos. His teeth were made to look tobacco-stained and his face was altered to appear worn and tired.
The State Senator then took to the streets of Newark trying to find a shelter that would accept him for the night. This task would not prove to be an easy one for Codey as shelter after shelter turned him down. Most shelters in Newark required their occupants to be officially registered for government assistance.
"To find a place to take you if you're homeless was impossible essentially, unless you're on some government entitlement program," Codey told NBC News.
From Millburn Patch

Other media covered the story:
CBS News
Huffington Post