Tuesday, November 27, 2012

FREE WEBINAR:The Human Right to Housing:



The Human Right to Housing:
A Report Card on U.S. Policy 

Monday, December 10 

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST
On Monday, December 10, in commemoration of Human Rights Day, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty will be hosting a free webinar on U.S. compliance with the human right to housing. 

In June 2011, the Law Center released "Simply Unacceptable: Homelessness and the Human Right to Housing in the U.S.," which includes a report card grading the United States on its response to homelessness and its compliance with the human right to housing.

This year, the Law Center is issuing an update to its report card, including failing grades in more than one category. 

This webinar will discuss the report card, its findings, and its recommendations.  

According to international standards, the human right to housing consists of seven elements: security of tenure; availability of services, materials, and infrastructure; affordability; accessibility; habitability; location; and cultural adequacy.  This report card gives the U.S. letter grades on each of them.  It also offers common sense solutions the U.S. can adopt to better meet the housing needs of homeless and poor persons.

The webinar will be facilitated by the report card's primary author, Eric Tars, human rights program director at the Law Center, and will feature commentary and analysis from other Law Center attorneys.  

To register for the webinar, click here.   

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

Hello again:
Recently we had sent out the attached recruitment bulletin to several One Stops in NJ.
In lieu of all that has happened and the united effort of the LTRC to meet the needs brought about by Hurricane Sandy, we wanted to distribute our recruitment flyer to all of those who attended the meeting. Is there a master distribution list or can it be forwarded to them through your office.
Thank you,
Roger Leahy
Roger J. Leahy
Program Manager
National Council on Aging
1255 Route 70 West, Suite 23S
Lakewood, New Jersey  08701
Phone: 732-367-7111  Fax:  732-367-8720

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)
Administered by the National Council on Aging, Inc.
Funded by the US Department of Labor
Enrollment Openings in Ocean, Monmouth, Morris and Atlantic Counties.
Enrollment Guidelines:
·        Over age 55
·        Unemployed
·        Under Federal Poverty Level
Entitles participants to:
·        14 hours per week hands on training
·        Pay of $7.25 per hour while in training
·        Assistance in resume writing, interviewing skills, job search and use of job clubs
·        Free Economic Security Initiative screening to assist you in obtaining additional assistance in improving present economic situation.
If you:
·        Are sincere in seeking either full or part-time employment
·        Improving your economic situation
·        Taking back control of your life
Contact us to set up a local interview:
National Council on Aging, Inc.
1255 Route 70 West, Suite 23S
Lakewood, New Jersey 08701
1 -732 – 367 - 7111

2 new FEMA DRCs open in Ocean County

FEMA is opened 2 new Disaster Recovery Centers in Ocean County today.  DRC #32 opened at the Little Egg Harbor Senior Center on 641 Radio Road in Little Egg Harbor Twp.  DRC #33 opened at Harvey Cedars Bible Conference Center, 12 Cedars Avenue, Harvey Cedars Long Beach Island, NJ.  Hours will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday until further notice.  Bell Crest Plaza DRC in Toms River and Brick Township Civic Center DRC will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice, while the DRC at Bay Head Fire Station #1 will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice.  
Cheri Huber

Public Affairs Media Specialist


Friday, November 23, 2012

Tent City Residents Elects Representatives

WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press
Updated 10:36 a.m., Monday, November 5, 2012
LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) — The candidates made the rounds of their neighborhood, canvassing voters who live in canvas.
There were almost no doors to knock on, so the campaigning often consisted of a shouted greeting: "Steve, come on out here for a minute!"
The issues were debated: how to maintain law and order, who should get the next available heater, what to do with the noisiest voters, whether anyone could deliver some lights to the community, which lives in pitch-blackness each night in the woods.
And then the residents of Tent City, the controversial encampment of homeless people near the Jersey shore that has been the subject of a years-long court battle to evict its residents, voted. They filled out their little paper ballots, folded them in half and stuffed them into a ballot box.
On the first Sunday in October, the camp's 80 or so residents elected three representatives, and approved by-laws spelling out what can and can't be done there, along with enforcement provisions for violators. They also approved committees approximating the functions of executive and judicial branches of more traditional government.
"I believe we can lift people up," said Gregory "Pops" Maple, one of the elected representatives called co-managers. "I feel like I have the ability to improve the operations of this place. But I was kind of surprised I got elected. Some people have the gift of gab; not me."
Actually, Maple's best qualification for office may be that he's a good listener. The soft-spoken 62-year-old native of Brooklyn, N.Y. wound up in the camp about a year ago due to "financial difficulties." One of Tent City's elders, he is quick with a smile and thinks long and hard before saying anything. When he does, he can usually find the right words to de-escalate a situation without anyone's feelings getting hurt or having their pride wounded.
Tent City just marked its sixth anniversary in September. This is the seventh winter the camp will have experienced, but the first with any rules and regulations.
It made it through Superstorm Sandy with minimal damage: three tents were destroyed and quickly replaced. Half the residents fled during the storm, while the other half rode it out. All but one couple has since returned.
"We probably fared better than most other people did," said Rev. Steven Brigham of the Lakewood Outreach Ministry Church, who founded the camp and lives there with its homeless residents. "We're used to living in the cold and dark without electricity."
The rules are simple and sensible. First and foremost: respect each other's rights, and keep the peace. Drugs and illegal weapons are prohibited. No going into someone else's tent without their permission. If you wish to share the food and supplies that are donated to the camp, you have to help cook or clean up. Same goes for showers and laundry.
There's a quiet period from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. where loud radios, cellphones or the use of generators are banned. Trash has to go in one of the bins provided in the center of the camp. A "support committee" made up of community, business and religious leaders will act as the final word on disputes that can't be resolved within the camp. And of course, the by-laws explicitly recognize that the laws of Lakewood, N.J., and the United States of America also apply to Tent City.
Brigham said that in addition to improving the lives of the Tent City residents, the election was also designed to show the judge hearing the legal case involving the camp that things are not spiraling out of control.
"The by-laws show that this is not just a bunch of radicals living in the woods. We are a community that wants to live in peace, with law and order," he said.
Already, the co-managers have had to deal with some issues. Sister Hannah, another of the three elected representatives, said "the noise factor" has arisen a few times.
"A couple keeps making a lot of noise," said Hannah, who would not give her last name, saying publication of it might put her at risk from a situation from her past. "We have to decide what we're going to do about that."
Maple suggests moving them to a far edge of the camp, away from most of the others. Expulsion from Tent City, while provided for under the by-laws, is to be used only as a last resort. These are, after all, folks who have virtually nothing, and already have no place to go.
Not everyone is jumping for joy over the new rules and the elected representatives to whom they now may be called to answer. Vera Tims, who has been in the camp since it opened six years ago, said the new system hasn't made much of a difference yet.
"When we have a problem, they're supposed to deal with it, but they don't," she said. "It's just a name."
Tims said Tent City's biggest need is lighting.
"It's dark as hell back here at night," she said. "We could use some street lights."
"There are 22 women here," added her boyfriend, Steve Hamburger. "It's for their safety."
With winter fast approaching, many residents want portable heaters to use inside their tents. A group of residents call out to Brigham as he walks past, complaining that they still haven't gotten a heater. He assures them he's doing the best he can, which only makes them grumble more as he walks down the muddy pathway.
"It's challenging," Brigham said. "To make sure 80 people living in the woods with nothing that regular society uses to keep warm can get through the winter, well, it's just challenging."

Housing needs for people with disabilities

Student with Autism Creates Short Film Showing #Housing Needs for People with Disabilities bit.ly/TKMKwE

Seaside Park Police Department collecting donations

Detective Chris Bonner of the Seaside Park Police Department (SPPD) tells us that his department has been working tirelessly to protect and assist the community since before Sandy hit. Even though officers are displaced from their homes, they have been working around the clock in service to the community, despite lacking supplies, Detective Bonner says. Detective Bonner has provided the following information:

Officers will be collecting these donations at the checkpoint located on Route 35 south (at the entrance into Seaside Park): Any questions please contact Detective Chris Bonner 848-992-2055

New cold weather gear
New jackets
New gloves
Rain gear
Waterproof items
Duty boots
New socks
BDU Pants
Utility pants
New Towels
Bottled Water/Soda
Non perishable food products
Paper products
Gift cards and monetary donations are also accepted and kindly appreciated

We have established a Facebook page, Seaside Park PBA (
https://www.facebook.com/pba.sppd?fref=ts), to use as a means of accepting donations. The following is the link to our paypal donation site, we are trying to figure out a way to embed or post it onto our site.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mt. Laurel case update from Supportive Housing Associaiton of NJ

NJ Supreme Court - Mt. Laurel Case Oral Arguments Heard Today in Trenton
SHA was present today as the NJ Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the Mt. Laurel Doctrine. We are hopeful that the Court will uphold the law so that people of low income, many of whom live with disabilities, are not discriminated against and have access to affordable homes throughout the state.
See the Op-Ed published in today's Star Ledger:
By Tracy A. Siebold, counsel in the real estate department of Ballard Spahr LLP; Alison Recca-Ryan, Director of the New Jersey Program, CSH; and Gail Levinson, Executive Director, SHA.

You may also be interested in reading The Record's report on today's arguments by Anthony Campisi.

Many thanks to Fair Share Housing Center and other affordable housing advocates for their skilled defense of the doctrine!
Hurricane Sandy Resources
SHA has added two resource pages to our website in order to serve our member organizations, families and individuals affected by the storm. Please share these resources with others in your organization, particularly if you are in hard-hit areas in Central and South Jersey:

A Sandy Emergency Housing Needs And Vacancies page where we will post both emergency housing needs and vacancies in order to match people in need with available housing.You can email listings to gail.levinson@shanj.org. Please include a short description, county/community, contact name, phone and email.

We have also added a list of links that may be helpful to people affected by Hurricane Sandy. If you have links you think we should add, including any of your agencies that are providing assistance, please send them to gail.levinson@shanj.org.

Thank you!
NJ Supportive Housing Conference is just 3 weeks away!
Friday, December 7, 8am-4pm
at The Pines Manor, Edison, NJ
Please visit our website for full conference information.
There are still opportunities to articipate as a sponsor and exhibitor!
Click here for a host of options.

NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency

Friends and Colleagues,

I hope this email finds you all safe and secure.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, thousands of New Jersey residents have been displaced from their homes and are in need of housing. The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, an affiliated agency of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has partnered with the non-profit organization Socialserve.com to provide web-based (www.njhrc.gov) and bi-lingual call center-based (1-877-428-8844) housing location services for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

Long-term and short-term housing assistance is now available through the New Jersey Housing Resource Center (NJHRC) located at www.njhrc.gov.

The NJHRC is a free service to assist people in search of housing and to landlords who are looking to provide housing. People without Internet access can call the bilingual toll-free number 1-877-428-8844 for help using this service.

Please pass this information along to your residents, family or friends that have been displaced from their home and are in search of temporary or permanent housing.

Click here to download a flyer for you to distribute or post as you see fit with all the pertinent information on how to access the NJHRC website or call center.
Wishing you all the best,
Anthony L. Marchetta
Executive Director
New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency
Other links: http://www.njhrc.gov/

News from NJ Coalition to End Homelessness

RFP Deadline Extended
Due to the storm and nor'easter, we have extended the RFP deadline until Thursday, November 29th at 4:00 pm.  Please visit our website at www.njcoalitionhomeless.org to obtain a copy of the RFP.

NJ Supportive Housing Conference
SHA is hosting its 14th Annual Supportive Housing Conference on Friday, December 7th from 8am - 4pm at Pines Manor, Edison, NJ. 
Visit www.shanj.org for full conference details and registration.

The Corporation for Supportive Housing is hosting its first Annual Regional Supportive Housing Conference and Bus Tour, March 7 - 8  at The Loews Hotel, 1200 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA.  CSH has released an RFP for presenters.  visit www.csh.org/easternregion for additional information.


My thanksgiving: for you and for how you help the homeless

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Indira Gandhi quote

There are 2 kinds of people: those who work & those who take the credit. Try to be in the 1st group; there's less competition -Indira Gandhi

FEMA Housing Portal Provides Resource To Help Survivors Find Rentals

FEMA Housing Portal Provides Resource To Help Survivors Find Rentals

For Immediate Release
Sunday, November 18, 2012

Contact: Michael Drewniak
Kevin Roberts

LINCROFT, N.J. - Families and individuals in New Jersey who are registered for federal disaster assistance and need a place to live can search through hundreds of rental listings on the FEMA Housing Portal (http://asd.fema.gov/inter/hportal/home.htm)

The FEMA Housing Portal consolidates rental resources identified and provided by federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA), and also lists rental properties provided by private organizations and property owners willing to help their neighbors during these difficult times.

FEMA recommends that those who use the portal contact the number on the listing prior to traveling to the location of the property to make sure the property is still available. This site is updated regularly, but available housing units are being filled continuously so FEMA encourages users to check back often for the most current information.

More free Thanksgiving dinners in Ocean County

From the Asbury Park Press:


- Church of Epiphany, 615 Thiele Road, will provide Thanksgiving dinners at noon Thursday. Deliveries provided upon request. For more information, call 732-458-0220.


- Island Heights United Methodist Church is hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Individuals, families, and local and out-of-state emergency responders are invited to attend one of three seatings: at noon, 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. Reservations are required. To make a reservation, call the church office at 732-929-0444 to request your preferred time. Island Heights United Methodist Church is located at 111 Ocean Ave.


- The Jackson Italian American Club, located in Romeos Plaza, 10 South New Prospects Ave., will be hosting a free Thanksgiving Dinner for those needing a warm meal in a friendly atmosphere from 1 to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. (I'll be there!)

- Lacey United Methodist Church, 203 Lacey Road in Forked River will serve Thanksgiving meals at 1 p.m. Thursday. Call 609-693-5222 the day before.


The Community Center, 203 Center St., will serve Thanksgiving meals noon to 2 p.m. Thursday. For more information, call 908-278-4654.


- Operation Jersey Strong, a nonprofit formed following superstorm Sandy to assist displaced residents, will host a Thanksgiving lunch for up to 150 people who lost homes from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at The Woodlake Country Club, 25 New Hampshire Ave, Lakewood. A gourmet traditional Thanksgiving meal and entertainment for children will be offered. Anyone wishing to attend should register by calling 732-228-8282.

- Macedonia Baptist Church, 143 John St., will provide Thanksgiving meals from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday. Volunteers needed. Deliveries provided upon request. For more information, call 732-363-9804.


As part of continuing efforts to support communities affected by superstorm Sandy, Lowe’s will provide more than 22,000 free grab-and-go, heat-and-serve Thanksgiving meals for residents of the communities hardest hit by the storm.
Lowe’s will provide Boston Market family-style meals. Each meal includes fresh roasted turkey or ham, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet corn and rolls. The fully cooked dinners will be distributed at 35 Lowe’s stores in New York and New Jersey on a first-come, first-served basis beginning 11 a.m. today until supplies run out.
Each store location will have approximately 500 meals to provide the local community. In addition, all Lowe’s employees in these stores will receive a meal as a thank you for their dedication before, during and after the storm. More than $1 million worth of food will be distributed during today’s events.
In addition, Table Talk Pies of Worcester, Mass., donated more than 43,000 pies to be included in the meals.


- Volunteers at Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church at Bay and Forman avenues will provide hot meals for those impacted by superstorm Sandy through Monday. Meals will be served in the Christian Education Building from 2 to 6 p.m.
The effort is in conjunction with St. Gregory’s, an ecumenical food pantry located at St. Mary’s-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, where more than 5,000 hot meals had been served before the move to the Presbyterian church.
- St. Gregory’s at 820 Arnold Ave. will serve Thanksgiving meals at 1 p.m. For more information, call 732-892-8105.
St. Gregory’s Pantry also announced that beginning Monday, the Pantry will resume its normal hours, Monday-to-Friday from 10 a.m. to noon, for the distribution of non-perishable food and household items.


- Ocean County College will host a Thanksgiving dinner at 1 p.m. Thursday. Dinner prepared by Jason Russo, executive chef at Ramada Inn, Toms River. Reservations are required. Make reservations by calling the Student Life Office at 732-255-0348.
- The Toms River Elks Lodge 1875 will offer free dinners on Thanksgiving Day at the lodge, located on the corners of Washington Street and Clifton Avenue. Dinners will be available to hurricane victims, emergency responders, senior citizens, people with disabilities and members of the community who would like to enjoy a friendly atmosphere with plenty of turkey and trimmings.
The dinners will be served at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Anyone who would like to attend should call the lodge secretary, Eileen Coyne, at 732-341-2480, ext. 203.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Link to NJ Division of Consumer Affairs for recovery

This is the link to the NJ Department of Law & Public Safety’s Division of Consumer Affairs and has information on:
1.       Obtaining prescription meds during the recovery.
2.       How to avoid disaster-related scams. Also has a link to it en Espanol.
3.       Tips for flood victims. Also has a link to it en Espanol.
4.       How to avoid charity scams. Also has a link to it en Espanol.
5.       How to hire home contractors.

A good start

Today's "Ocean County Long Term Recovery Committee" was a good start in addressing the needs of not only the newly-created homeless, but also those who have had to live on the streets prior to Hurricane Sandy and those people who are renovating their damaged homes.

The meeting, attended by well over 200 people representing more than 100 agencies, was hosted by the Ocean County Department of Human Services and sponsored by the OceanFirst Foundation at the Holiday Inn Monday Nov. 19. It was led by Ryan Reilly.

The three-and-a-half hour meeting examined the current efforts being undertaken by agencies during the recovery; identification of the gaps that exist in those efforts; and a presentation of opportunities for the agencies to pursue.

Groups that attended the meeting included FEMA; Ocean County Library; Ocean Inc.; Catholic Charities; Church of Grace and Peace; Townsquare Media; St. Francis Center; Masons; Rotary International; Elks; Kiwanis International; Preferred Behavioral Health; United Way; East Dover Baptist Church; Whispering Pines; Ocean County Human Relations Committee; Ocean Ride; Ocean County Vocation and Technical Schools; Alive in Christ Lutheran Church; Caregivers; Heavenly Driven Disaster Response; Ocean County Health Department; Monmouth Ocean Counties Foodbank; Atlantic Physical Therapy; Community Medical Center; Oceans Harbor House; Ocean Medical Mental Health Services; Toms River Regional School District; Family Promise of Southern Ocean County; Department of Senior Services; Georgian Court University; Clergy and People for Workforce Housing; and Legal Services. There were many others.

Attendees identified several gaps in the services needed, including a clearing house for contacts, coordination of the distribution of supplies, and needs; long-term storage for donations; the need for a long-term strategy to solve the affordable housing; cell phones with cards; the need for professional counselors to address the depression and increased child abuse that often accompanies such trauma; a list of available rental units; digital cameras; insurance negotiators; visiting home care providers; transportation changes; Play 'n Pack cribs; and skilled construction volunteers.

Ocean County Library has already created a list of resources and posted it on the library's Web site www.theoceancountylibrary.org and other groups offered to open similar sites. OceanFirst Foundation has announced it will donate $500,000 in grants to nonprofit (501c3) organizations that are serving people and meeting their needs.

Everyone present agreed the recovery will take years, some estimates going from three to five years. (Katrina took six years.) Comparing it to a marathon, Reilly said the recovery starts off slowly and then keeps a steady pace to the finish. "There's plenty of work for everyone here." he said.

How do we make it better? "One person at a time," said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari. "We will make a difference in the lives of people," he said. "Why? Because it's the right thing to do."

Looking for housing?

Looking for housing? We received this link from to the Ocean County Board of Realtors. It has a link to emergency housing search.  No guarantees but it might be of help.

“OceanFirst Foundation Pledges $500,000 for Relief and Recovery Efforts at the Jersey Shore”

Nonprofit organizations may apply now!

OceanFirst Foundation has established a $500,000 Relief and Recovery Grant Program to assis the efforts of nonprofit organizations, in OceanFirst’s New Jersey shore market area, that are helping local families and individuals impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Nonprofit (501c3) organizations that are providing assistance to those impacted may be eligible for grants of up to $25,000 through the Relief and Recovery Grant Program.  Organizations that are interested in applying should follow the steps below:

1.       First contact Kathy Durante at OceanFirst Foundation (732) 341-4676 for further details, to discuss your proposal and to obtain the password allowing access to the online application form.

2.       Complete the online Sandy Relief Grant application (https://www.grantrequest.com/SID_372/?SA=SNA&FID=35017 ). A direct link to the application can also be found on the Foundation’s web page www.oceanfirstfdn.org .

News to Food Stamp (SNAP) recipients in Ocean County

From the Ocean County Board of Social Services:

The state of New Jersey has committed to issuing an additional amount of food stamps to all food stamps households that received food stamps in October 2012 in order to help replace food lost during the recent hurricane, based on an agreement with Ocean County.

Every food stamp “SNAP” household active in the month of October will receive an additional amount equal to 25% of the amount they received in October.

This will be an automatic issuance.  You do not have to come to or call the agency to receive these enefits.  The benefits will be automatically added to your family’s first account “after” November 26, 2012 when the state system will automatically issue the benefit.

Households that are not active in the month of October and wish to apply for disaster related food stamp benefits, cannot do so at this time. Instructions are pending from the state and will require applications and verifications, since those persons are not food stamp households.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Ocean County Library helps Hurricane Sandy victims

The Ocean County Library has posted a list of resources for people coping with the effects of Hurricane Sandy to its Web site www.theoceancountylibrary.org .

The Web site is available 24/7 and provides links to its databases, too.

OCL has opened all but two of its branches following the storm and provides free access to the Internet, charging stations for electric devices, CDs & DVDs, and books & magazines.

The open branches include Barnegat, Beachwood, Berkeley, Island Heights, Jackson, Lacey, Lakewood, Little Egg Harbor, Long Beach Island, Manchester, Plumsted, Point Pleasant Beach, Point Pleasant Boro, Stafford, Toms River, Tuckerton, Waretown, and Whiting. Visit OCL's Web site or telephone the operator at (732) 349-6200 or (609) 971-1545 for hours.

After Hurricane Sandy, South Jersey needs a little lift

Community Gathering at the Tuckerton Seaport, 120 W. Main St., noon to 4 p.m. this Saturday.

The Tuckerton Seaport Family invites all local families (regardless of need) to come together on Thanksgiving weekend to enjoy a meal and give thanks.  The event will take place in a huge heated tent in the Seaport parking lot.  There will be food, entertainment and plenty of family activities, including games and make-and-take holiday crafts.

Everything at this event is offered at no cost.

It is cosponsored by the Tuckerton Seaport, the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, ScoJo’s, Magic 100.1, Real Mom Radio, Jersey Family Fun and Ocean Tents.

For more information or to volunteer, telephone (609) 296-1623 or email brookes@tuckertonseaport.org

Thanksgiving Dinner 2012

Thanks to Rumu Dasgupta for providing this information.

Ocean County Hunger Relief has announced that the following locations will be providing Thanksgiving meal.

  • Church of Epiphany, 615 Thiele Rd., Brick. Thursday Nov. 22 @ noon. (732) 458-0220. (Deliveries made upon request.)
  • Salvation Army/Hearty Helpings, 1738 Rt. 37 West, Toms River. Wednesday, Nov 21 @ 5 pm sharp.
  • Macedonia Baptist Church, 143 John St., Lakewood. Thur. Nov 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (732) 363-9804. (Deliveries available upon request.) Volunteers needed.
  • Lacey United Methodist Church, 203 Lacey Rd., Forked River. Thur. Nov 22 @ 1 p.m. (609) 693-5222. Call the day before.
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1500 Hooper Av., Toms River. Thur. Nov. 22 noon-4 p.m. (732) 255-4455.
  • Lakehurst Community Center, 203 Center St., Lakehurst. Thur. Nov 22, noon-2 p.m.
  • Island Heights United Methodist Church, 111 Ocean Av, Island Heights. Thur. Nov. 22: 3 seatings: noon, 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. RSVP and leave message with how many people & seating time. (Sorry, I do not have a phone number for this one.)

WOBM: Kids Helping Kids – Restore The Shore [AUDIO]

A school in North Carolina adopts the Hugh J Boyd school in Seaside.

Kids helping kids! Teachers, Students, Parents and Business Owners at the Wrightsville Beach School in Coastal North Carolina are heading to the Jersey Shore to deliver relief funds collected to help following Hurricane Sandy. The team from Wrightsville Beach will arrive today with their fantastic donation!

For a link to Shawn & Sue's review of this story click here.

Today's poll: Should New Jersey towns have to pay to add affordable housing?

Advocates for lower-income residents and lawyers for mayors and the Christie administration spent seven hours before the state Supreme Court, arguing over Mt. Laurel rulings and the the future of affordable housing in New Jersey.

For more, click here.

Pet Help following Hurricane Sandy

The Humane Society of the United States is encouraging Ocean County residents who are missing their pets to contact them with their name, address (where the animal would have been found), description of their pet, and phone number to reach them. Society workers and volunteers will look through their shelter for any animals found in or near their address that match the description. If their pet is not at the temporary shelter in Barnegat Township, the Humane Society can provide contact information to the other facilities where it might be found.

The telephone number of The Humane Society of the United States temporary emergency shelter in Barnegat is 609-384-0306.

Emergency center for homeless gay youth gets an outpouring of aid to rebuild following Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (AP) — It took only hours for Superstorm Sandy's surging waters to destroy an emergency drop-in center for homeless gay youths. Four feet of water swamped the hallways and rooms, buckling the linoleum floors and caking the electrical outlets with sea salt.

But almost as quickly, a social media outpouring helped raise money for a new, bigger Ali Forney Center to keep helping dozens of young people a day with medical care, counseling and a safe place to sleep.

For more, click here.

In NJ foreclosure logjam may loosen

The scary language used on mortgage foreclosure letters makes it seem that homeowners will be out on the street in no time. In New Jersey, the process of losing a home can last years.
A court hearing Friday might get some foreclosures moving in the Garden State.  This is the story of one family that has lived under threat of losing its home since 2007.
More: click here.

Hurricane kit for children

Sesame Street offers videos to help children understand and deal with the effects of the hurricane.  Here is a link to the videos: http://www.sesamestreet.org/parents/topicsandactivities/toolkits/hurricane

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Congressman Chris Smith resource list

Congressman Chris Smith
Hurricane Recovery
Dear Friend,

The devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy is heartbreaking and unprecedented.  I have been meeting nearly around-the-clock with local officials, emergency management teams and first responders in our municipalities—especially those along the shore.  I am deeply impressed and grateful for their hard work, leadership and commitment.
As we begin the recovery and rebuilding process, I would like to provide you with information on the resources available to residents of our state in need of assistance.  Below please find a list of websites and phone numbers that may prove helpful as we move forward.  Your safety and the safety of your family and friends continues to be the highest priority.  If you have family, neighbors or loved ones who have suffered damages or are in need of assistance, please pass this message along to ensure those in need have the necessary and accurate information.
The most important step you can take right now is to register with FEMA.  Registration will ensure that FEMA has the essential information to provide timely assistance to all New Jersey residents.
(Click here to Register).  To register over the phone, please call: 1-800-621-3362.
        Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
            FEMA Main Website for Hurricane Sandy
            Residents' Three-Step Process to Disaster Assistance             U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Disaster Assistance
            Information about FEMA assistance is available by calling 1(800) 621-3362
            FEMA's NJ declarations           
            Some frequently asked questions:
                    What is disaster assistance?                    Do I qualify for assistance?                    Do I qualify for "housing needs" assistance?                    Is disaster help available if I have insurance?                    What items are covered by disaster assistance?
           State Offices:
            New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM)            New Jersey State Police            New Jersey Public Health Hotline: 1 (866) 234-0964
        New Jersey Local Government:
            List of links to New Jersey municipal government websites
            Burlington County
            Mercer County
            Monmouth County
            Ocean County
            Shelters in Monmouth and Oceans Counties
        For information on the power outage companies
            JCP&L:  1(888) 544-4877
            PSE&G: 1(800) 436-773
            New Jersey Natural Gas: 1 (800) 427-5325
I would like to offer my assistance to you during this process so please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help in anyway.  I can be reached by email through my website (Contact Me) or at the following offices:
Hamilton District Office
1540 Kuser Rd Suite A-9
Hamilton, NJ 08619
p- 609-585-7878
f- 609-585-9155
Whiting District Office
108 Lacey Road
Suite 38 A
Whiting Shopping Center
Whiting NJ 08759
p- 732-350-2300
f- 732-350-6260
My thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and their families during this difficult time.  New Jersey has been through tough times in the past, we are resilient and will get through this together.

Chris Smith
Member of Congress

Long Term Recovery meeting 11/19

Long Term Recovery Committee

I hope this email find you well.  On November 19th from 8am until noon we will be hosting a Long Term Recovery Committee meeting at the Holiday Inn of Toms River.  This meeting will focus on the Ocean County needs resulting from the impacted of Sandy.  

The Long Term Recovery Committee is intended to be the centralized point at which all funders, nonprofit agencies, faith based communities and volunteer groups come to discuss needs and plan for efforts.  Ocean County’s intention is not to take over the work of these agencies, but to promote a formalized and unified effort.  Ocean County is aware of the amazing outpouring of donations and volunteers that have come to help in its time of need; our aim is to ease efforts, not duplicate efforts, and foster a way to match the identified needs with the resources being offered to Ocean County.

Ocean County will need extended time to recover, specialized assistance, and a more formalized structure to coordinate our recovery efforts in our community at all levels.  This disaster will present very complex challenges to Ocean County and those who will participate in the restoration. The Long Term Recovery Committee looks to concentrate on these needs by taking a long-range view of critical recovery needs, and coordinating the mobilization of resources at the federal, state, and community levels.

This first meeting of the Long Term Recovery Committee will be convened with the nonprofit agencies, the faith based community, and volunteers.  I ask that you pass this information along to anyone who would be interested in attending and RSVP to ensure that we have the space necessary to accommodate all participants.  

Please RSVP to Ryan Reilly at rreilly@co.ocean.nj.us no later then November 15.  

Hurricane Sandy updates

Tripp Rogers on Barnegat collection: https://www.facebook.com/tripprog/posts/129806497170636

Governor Christie@GovChristie  Please call and register for FEMA assistance. 1-800-621-FEMA. They won’t come to your house unless you register.

7 Myths About FEMA Aid for Hurricane Sandy - Please read to protect yourself from scams bit.ly/VILoES

If any readers have lost your job during this storm. Please go to http://NJUIFILE.net to register for assistance.

Toms River shelter empties, its occupants sent to Monmouth County

TOMS RIVER — Dina Rogers-Manger’s life will be disrupted for the second time in two weeks.
The 47-year-old Ortley Beach resident lost her family home when several feet of water flooded her neighborhood in a storm surge from Hurricane Sandy. Her neighbor’s ranch home floated to the foot of her driveway, she said.
“I heard it hit the pavement,” Rogers-Manger said. “I’m very thankful to be alive.”
In the days following the storm, she has lived at the Pine Belt Arena shelter at Toms River High School North with hundreds of other displaced people. Rogers-Manger learned Wednesday that her new home, for now, will be Monmouth Park, which hosts horse racing.

Fhe rest of the story go to: http://www.app.com/viewart/20121107/NJNEWS/311070092/Toms-River-shelter-empties-its-occupants-sent-Monmouth-County?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Frontpage|s

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

After Hurricane Sandy, NJ's Homeless Population at Greater Risk

Shelters and soup kitchens across the state sustain significant damage from Superstorm
The devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy as it roared through New Jersey last week was impossible to miss: multimillion-dollar homes collapsed like a house of cards, boats berthed on NJ Transit train tracks, much of the Jersey shore reduced to rubble . . .
But the so-called Superstorm also did its share of silent -- though no less traumatic -- damage.
Public agencies and private groups that help some of the state's most vulnerable populations are seeing an increase in patrons in the wake of the storm. They're also dealing with power outages and storm related damage of their own.
The result: More stress on an emergency relief network that was already stretched to its limits.

Ocean County Library offers assistance post-Sandy

Looking to charge your electronic devices? Many of our branches have the power. Bring your cell phones and laptops to tap in. Check our Web site www.theoceancountylibrary.org or call for branch information.

Are your kids restless? Need a break? Many branches have special programs throughout the day for them. Come on in and check us out.

Trying to contact friends or family?  Try the Internet and social media. Our branches have free WiFi. Come on in and check us out! Branch info @ www.theoceancountylibrary.org .

Coping with Hurricane Sandy

 Dealing with the Aftermath:

·         Have a need and don't know where to turn?  

Asbury Park Press (www.app.com) has extensive Hurricane Resource Center on their website.

·         NJ Office of Emergency Management
Phone:  732-341-3451

·         FEMA:

Residents and business owners who suffered damage in Ocean County during the storm can begin applying for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance. To register go to www.disasterassistance.gov, m.fema.gov or call 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY). The phone numbers will operate 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Saturday until further notice.  Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

·         Disaster Unemployment Assistance:

If you are unemployed because of the disaster that began on Oct. 28, you should FIRST file for unemployment insurance benefits through the Internet by going to www.njuifile.net.

The Internet processes claims faster. However, if needed, people may also file a claim by telephone by contacting the state Department of Labor’s Re-employment Call Centers at:

North Jersey   - (201) 601-4100
Central Jersey  - (732) 761-2020
South Jersey   - (856) 507-2340

A 30-day deadline ending December 3, 2012 is in effect for filing claims resulting from Hurricane Sandy.
·         Need guidance on filing insurance claims? 

·         Important Utility Contact Info (electric, gas, water, phone, etc)

·         Dealing With Power Outages:

Keeping your house safe during long-term power outages in cold weather: 

·         Shelter, Food & Supplies:

List of ShopRite stores closed due to the hurricane:

Updates from Wawa, including a list of Wawas that are closed: 

Need emergency food? Contact the FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties at              732-918-2600 or see their list of places for assistance at: http://www.foodbankmoc.org/?page_id=35

·         Disaster Crisis Counseling:
Toll free Disaster Mental Health Helpline:  (877) 294-HELP (4357).  A TTY line is available for the deaf and hearing impaired at (877) 294-4356.

·         Need to know when schools are opening around Ocean and Monmouth? 

·         Searching for family and friends? Want to register yourself as safe and well?

·         If your pet is missing:
Gov. Chris Christie unveiled a hotline for residents to call to report their missing pets. The hotline is 1-855-407-4787.  The hotline is open 24 hours a day.

·         Traffic & Transportation:
Getting ready for a flight from a New York airport and want some tips?

Heading to NYC and looking for basic info about what's running and open?

NJ Transit Updates

NJ traffic alerts from NJDOT
Call 511 or go to http://www.511nj.org/

·         How can I vote in Ocean County?

For updates about how voting and vote-by-mail ballots, call:

Ocean County Clerk Election Services: 732-929-2018, 609-597-1500, or 1-800-722-0291

Ocean County Board of Elections - 732-929-2167 or 1-800-452-5254

·         Social Media Outlets:
A bottom-up, two-way news outlet, JSHN is news for the people, by the people. JSHN covers breaking news, traffic, and weather. "News you can use." JSHN is also a community resource (events, missing people, lost animals, etc).

Have an urgent tip? Email jerseyshorehurricanenews@gmail.com or text (908-565-4270)

Twitter tags to follow:
#njopen: for what’s open
#njgas: for gas stations
#njpower: for power reports

Go to www.patch.com to find links to local Patch sites for news and information.
·         Talking to kids about the storm and helping families cope: 
A collection of resources gathered by the CDC: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/

Elmo talked about the hurricane on the radio in New York: 

Ways to Help:

·         Looking to volunteer?
Contact the New Jersey volunteer emergency response hotline at 1-800-JERSEY-7 or backup hotline numbers (which are being answered): 609-775-5236 or 908-303-0471.

·         American Red Cross:
People can donate money to the American Red Cross by texting REDCROSS TO 90999 for a $10 donation, calling 1-800-REDCROSS or clicking the “make a donation” option on www.redcross.org

·         United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund
With leadership from United Way of New York City, United Ways along the Eastern Seaboard have established the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund to address near-term and long-term recovery needs of communities most affected by the hurricane. Contributions to the Fund will be used by United Ways in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, DC and West Virginia to address recovery needs in communities that FEMA has declared disaster areas. Visit UWSandyRecovery.org to donate to the Fund. You can also use your cell phone to text RECOVERY to 52000 to make a $10 donation.

·         Animal Shelters:
ALL THREE of the AHS shelters are collecting donations for those shelters, as well as for shelters throughout NJ, our shelters, and NJ residents that need supplies for their pets. Food, blankets, towels, and other pet supplies can be dropped off at:

AHS/Popcorn Park; 1 Humane Way; Forked River, NJ 08731

AHS/Tinton Falls; 2960 Shafto Road; Tinton Falls, NJ 07753

AHS/Newark; 124 Evergreen Ave.; Newark, NJ 07114

Again, residents affected by the storm that need assistance caring for their pets are also welcome to come to our shelters for supplies.

Tips for Preparing for Future Emergencies:

·         Disaster Preparation:

Help your children understand how to prepare for emergencies:

·         Need reviews of emergency supplies, to try to order now or get for next time? 

·         Weather Information:
National Weather Service: www.weather.gov
Weather Safety Tips:  http://www.weather.gov/safety

Looking for official National Weather Service stats on wind, rainfall, storm surge, and more:  http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=PHI&product=PNS&format=TXT&version=1&glossary=0