New Jersey

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Below is a set of key data indicators related to poverty. For the original sources, click on the data point.

Poverty by demographic

  • Child poverty rate: 15%
  • Senior poverty rate: 11%
  • Women in poverty: 10.8%
  • Percent of single-parent families with related children that are below poverty: 28%
  • Number of Black and Hispanic children below 200% poverty: 410,000

Economic well-being

  • Poverty rate: 10.8%
  • Extreme poverty rate: 5%
  • Unemployment rate: 8.8%
  • Food insecurity: 12.1%
  • Low-income families that work: 21.2%
  • Minimum Wage: $8.25
  • Percent of jobs that are low-wage: 13.7%
  • Percent of individuals who are uninsured: 16%
  • Number of Black and Hispanic children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment: 302,000

Family

  • Teen birth rate per 1,000: 20.1
  • Children living in single parent families: 29%
  • Children in foster care: 7,172
  • Percent of children in immigrant families: 34%
  • Number of grandparents raising grandchildren: 112,587

Assets 

  • Asset poverty rate: 24.2%
  • Unbanked households: 6.6%
  • Average college graduate debt: $29,287

Education

  • Individuals with a high school degree: 88%
  • Individuals with a four year college degree: 36.2%
  • Teens ages 16 to 19 not attending school and not working: 8%
  • Percent of college students with debt: 65%
  • High school graduation rate: 87.2%

Housing

  • Total households: 3,180,854
  • Renters: 33%
  • Households paying more than 30% of income on housing: 526,275
  • Homeless people: 13,025
  • Home foreclosure rate: 8.01%

Justice System

  • Number of youth residing in juvenile justice and correctional facilities: 1,564
  • Total incarcerated (prison and jail): 23,225

Participation in federal programs

  • Adults and children receiving welfare (TANF): 80,522
  • Children receiving food stamps (SNAP): 337,000
  • EITC recipients: 583,000
  • Households receiving federal rental assistance: 159,159
  • Families receiving child care subsidies: 21,700
  • Participants in all Head Start programs: 17,873
  • Number of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP: 860,796
  • Number of women and children receiving WIC (Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program): 167,873
  • Households receiving LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program): 351,305

State governments play a significant role in developing policies that help support low-income families. Below is a list of some key New Jersey policies and a link to an organization that tracks the issue.

Tax & Asset-Building Policy

Family and Work Supports

Below is a list of reports about poverty and opportunity in the state. If you have a state report you’d like featured on this page, please email Tamanna@thehatchergroup.com.


Tax & Budget Policy

$elling New Jersey $hort: Across the Board Income Tax Cut Would Harm the Garden State

New Jersey Policy Perspective, January 2014

All That Glitters Isn’t Gold: Property Tax Abatements in Jersey City

Naomi Mueller Bressler and Carolyn Topp, New Jersey Policy Perspective, July 2009

What’s the Rush? Costly Tax Changes Need More Deliberation

Mary E. Forsberg, New Jersey Policy Perspective, November 2008

Look Out Below: Steep “Cliff” Means Many Working Poor Lose Tax Credit

Sarah Stecker, New Jersey Policy Perspective, January 2007

Asset-Building

State Profile: New Jersey

CFED, 2012

Asset Poverty Profile: New Jersey

CFED, 2012

Families & Children

Poverty Benchmarks 2013: Assessing New Jersey's Progress in Combating Poverty

Legal Services of New Jersey’s Poverty Research Institute, September 2013

The Real Cost of Living in New Jersey: What It Takes to Meet Basic Needs and Avoid Deprivation

Legal Services of New Jersey’s Poverty Research Institute , May 2013

Policy in Action: New Jersey's Family Leave Insurance Program at Age Three

Center for Women and Work, Rutgers University, January 2013

Income Inequality in New Jersey: The Growing Divide and Its Consequences

Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute, July 2012

Poverty Benchmarks 2012

Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute, May 2012

The State of Poverty and Opportunity in New Jersey

Half in Ten, October 2011

Poverty Benchmarks 2011: Assessing New Jersey's Progress in Combating Poverty

Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute, March 2011

New Jersey Kids Count 2011

New Jersey Kids Count, 2011

Economy in Crisis: The State of Working New Jersey

Norman J. Glickman, New Jersey Policy Perspective, 2009

Lost Time, Lost Pay: New Jersey’s Minimum Wage Keeps Falling Behind

New Jersey Raise the Wage Campaign, September 2008

Education

A Stronger Nation through Higher Education: New Jersey

Lumina Foundation, March 2012

Flunking Out: New Jersey's Support for Higher Education Falls Short

Mary E. Forsberg, New Jersey Policy Perspective, March 2010

Garden State Dreams: In-State Tuition for Undocumented Kids

Anastasia R. Mann, New Jersey Policy Perspective, January 2010

Health

A Step Backward: How Federal Rules Would Deny Health Insurance to New Jersey Children

Raymond J. Castro, New Jersey Policy Perspective, May 2008

The News-Herald, April 14, 2014: Several groups pushing for minimum wage hike; Ficano asks for water department mediator

“A single adult in Wayne County needs to make $11.64 an hour just to pay for the bare essentials in life, according to a study.”

The Star-Ledger, April 03, 2014: Expanded Obamacare Medicaid backlog means financial bind

“By all accounts, enrollment in the expanded Medicaid program has gone well in New Jersey. The numbers are robust as the program’s expansion under the Affordable Care Act allows single residents and childless couples to get coverage provided their income is low enough.”

The Star-Ledger, March 27, 2014: Should NJ increase minimum wage for tipped workers?

“Should lawmakers pass a bill that would increase the minimum wage for waiters and other workers in New Jersey who rely on tips for a living?”

The Warren Reporter, March 24, 2014: Bill to increase minimum wage for tipped workers advances in NJ Assembly

“Waiters and other workers who rely on tips to make a living would see a bump in their base pay under a bill approved by an Assembly panel today. The Assembly Labor Committee today voted 6-3 along party lines to raise the minimum hourly wage that businesses are required to pay to tipped workers – currently $2.13 – to an estimated $3.39 by the end of 2014 and $5.93 by 2015.”

The News Transcript, February 27, 2014: Project Homeless Connect offers a range of services

“Monmouth County’s annual Project Homeless Connect, a one-stop event to provide various health and human services for homeless residents or those who are in danger of becoming homeless, was held recently in Asbury Park, Freehold and Red Bank.”

The Asbury Park Press, February 27, 2014: Some tents knocked down as homeless residents leave Lakewood's Tent City

“Bulldozers are taking down tents, one for each person placed in housing through a township program established to empty Tent City, a homeless encampment off Cedar Bridge Avenue and South Clover Street, officials said.”

The Sayreville Suburban, February 20, 2014: Heating assistance available for low-income households

“The Christie administration has announced that nearly 230,000 households received heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).”

The Star Press, February 19, 2014: (Op-Ed) County does disservice to low-income students

“Why do we play hot potato with students from low-income families? Rutherford County Board of Education officials told us one of the main reasons to convert Central Middle to Central Magnet for high achievers was because the former middle school had a high percentage of children who came from families with low enough incomes to qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.”

The New Jersey Newsroom, February 18, 2014: Compassion for New Jersey's Homeless - A Misunderstood Population

“Now, instead of plaguing her, those childhood memories of isolation and inadequacy fuel Nguyen’s volunteer work with the homeless, another often misunderstood population.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 31, 2014: N.J. better than Pa. in feeding children breakfast

“New Jersey has shown marked increases in getting low-income children to eat breakfast in school, while Pennsylvania has demonstrated slow improvement in serving the meals.”

The Daily Record, January 31, 2014: Homeless staying in Roxbury motel to avoid the cold

“That’s the cold reality for Morris County’s homeless community, many of whom have battled the elements constantly these frigid weeks, some sleeping in tents while others are on the street.”

The Herald News, January 30, 2014: Statewide population count finds tens of thousands of homeless people

“They are just three of the thousands of people with no place to call home who were surveyed Wednesday by volunteers during the state's annual Point-in-Time Count of New Jersey's homeless population. Armed with clipboards and a large dose of compassion, the volunteers spread out through the state's 21 counties, searching streets, shelters, doorways and under bridge trestles in search of the homeless.”

The Jersey Journal, January 29, 2014: County officials, volunteers undertake homeless count beginning today

“There was an 8.9 percent increase in the Hudson County homeless population in 2013, and the program director at a local shelter doesn’t see it getting any better when the annual count is performed today.”

The Suburban, January 23, 2014: County tackles homelessness by focusing on affordability

“There were fewer homeless individuals living in Middlesex County in 2013, but those living in shelters or on the streets are remaining homeless for longer.”

The Star-Ledger, January 23, 2014: Bergen County to count, aid homeless at annual event in Hackensack

“Bergen County will invite the homeless in from the cold Wednesday. The county is holding its eighth annual Project Homeless Connect event at the Housing, Health and Human Services Center.”

The Edison-Metuchen Sentinel, January 16, 2014: Community comes together to stem tide of homelessness

“Nerlene Mayers used to be a statistic — one of the estimated 1,500 homeless people in Middlesex County. Mayers lost her job in 2009 and her home in 2010. Recently, with the help of a nonprofit foundation, Mayers and her children found a place to live at Imani Park, Edison, a transitional housing project backed by the resource group Making It Possible to End Homelessness.”

The East Brunswick Sentinel, January 09, 2014: County tackles homelessness by focusing on affordability

“There were fewer homeless individuals living in Middlesex County in 2013, but those living in shelters or on the streets are remaining homeless for longer.”

The East Brunswick Sentinel, January 02, 2014: Community comes together to stem tide of homelessness

“Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, observed in more than 200 communities across 40 states, is held on the winter solstice, the longest night of the year.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 30, 2013: N.J. minimum wage rises by $1

“Effective Wednesday, New Jersey's minimum wage will rise by $1 to $8.25 an hour, boosting the paychecks of more than 250,000 New Jerseyans and bumping up costs for businesses with low-wage workers.”

The Daily Record, December 23, 2013: Poverty in Morris: Rising rents take a toll

“The search for affordable housing in her beloved Morris County was on — and ended at the Robert T. Burroughs Apartments at 44 Cook Ave. in Madison.”

The Asbury Park Press, December 22, 2013: Housing advocates, clergy talk solutions to homelessness in Lakewood

“The reason for the gathering, after all, was sobering: Just a mile away there are about 120 people who are homeless and are living in tents off Cedar Bridge Road in an encampment called Tent City.”

The Daily Record, December 22, 2013: Poverty in Morris: Suburban poverty; living poor in the land of plenty

“Homelessness is one of the most extreme forms of poverty anywhere, but in suburbia these days it is one of many. The number of people receiving government assistance and food stamps is going up. So, too, are the ranks of working people who, try as they might, cannot make enough to pay their bills.”

The South Jersey Times, December 19, 2013: Rutgers-Camden study: Concentrated poverty in US higher than ever before

“A new report published by a Rutgers-Camden professor on Wednesday states there are more areas of concentrated poverty in the United States than have been previously recorded, with small to mid-sized cities showing the biggest increase in impoverished neighborhoods.”

The Edison-Metuchen Sentinel, December 19, 2013: Nonprofit looks to end homelessness

“’There are probably about 1,300 people that are homeless in Middlesex County each year,’ said Philip Webb, executive director of Making it Possible to End Homelessness, an Edison-based nonprofit. ‘The slightest thing can cause eviction if you have very little money and have children.’”

The Record, December 19, 2013: Hackensack's welfare office will close’

“The city will not operate the welfare office after Jan. 31, but Hackensack clients can continue to visit the City Hall office, because it will be run by county employees during a transitional period, said interim City Manager Anthony Rottino. The Bergen County Board of Social Services will take over operations, and cases will be shifted to the main offices in Rochelle Park at a later, unknown date.”

The Asbury Park Press, December 03, 2013: Should Ocean County build a homeless shelter?

“Without another place to go, men and women around Ocean County have struggled for years to make homes for themselves where they can. Sometimes they have lived in motel rooms. Others have braced for winters underneath tarps and tents propped in a wooded encampment.”

The Asbury Park Press, December 03, 2013: Medicaid enrollment jumps in N.J.

“New Jersey and other states expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act showed a jump in enrollments for that safety-net program in the first month of sign-ups, comparing favorably to results in the new insurance marketplaces for those who purchased private health plans.”

The New Brunswick Times, December 02, 2013: Pallone calls for boost in hunger, nutrition programs during visit to Elijah's Promise in New Brunswick

“U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J. 6th District, decried cuts to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) during Monday morning’s visit to Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen in the city.”

The Asbury Park Press, December 02, 2013: Pallone calls for boost in hunger, nutrition programs during visit to Elijah's Promise in New Brunswick

“U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J. 6th District, decried cuts to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) during Monday morning’s visit to Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen in the city.”

The Herald News, November 25, 2013: (Editorial) A place called home

“America’s homeless, by definition, are a population hard to quantify. They don't always live in ‘homes,’ i.e., well-furnished apartments or houses in established neighborhoods. They don't live in military barracks or college dorms. No, among the homeless, the lucky find transitional housing or take refuge in shelters, while the unlucky might live in a cardboard box under an overpass.”

The Atlanticville, November 21, 2013: Study: Poverty-level wages fall short of economic security

“While New Jersey’s minimum wage will get a slight boost come January, one advocacy group claims more needs to be done to close the gap between poverty-level incomes and what people actually need to survive.”

The Herald News, November 21, 2013: Homelessness down nationwide, Bergen and Passaic counties

“There were fewer people counted as homeless in Bergen and Passaic counties in 2013, a trend seen across the country, according to a federal study released on Thursday.”

The Bloomfield Life, November 21, 2013: (Op-Ed) Real victims of minimum wage increase

“That means that no matter what economic situation the state is facing, there will be an increase in to the minimum wage. The president is now backing a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 to be adjusted each year according to inflation, which is a $1 more than he proposed during his State of the Union Address in February.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 04, 2013: Debate over N.J. minimum wage in Tuesday's election

“Increasing New Jersey's minimum wage now and through annual cost-of-living raises will help workers and boost the economy. Or it will force businesses to increase prices and cut hours, hurting consumers and workers.”

The Star-Ledger, November 01, 2013: (Editorial) A cruel cut to food stamps, with more coming

“Republicans in Washington are upset that growing numbers of Americans rely on food stamps, driving up the cost of the program. So as of today, roughly 10 percent of New Jersey families who rely on food stamps will see their benefits cut back to pre-recession levels.”

The Ashbury Park Press, November 1, 2013: Voters are poised to hike the minimum wage to $8.25 even as businesses claim it'll be a job killer

“The proposal has resulted in an avalanche of special-interest spending, amplifying a long-running debate: Does a mandated wage hike help low-wage employees and spur economic activity or does it hurt business owners, taxpayers and even those workers it purports to benefit?”

The South Jersey Times, October 30, 2013: Fifth district legislators, union officials support minimum wage hike during Camden rally

“Union members joined elected officials in front of the Walter Rand Transportation Center Wednesday morning to rally in support of raising the minimum wage in New Jersey and encouraging voters to vote ‘yes’ next week to approve the measure.”

The Record, October 11, 2013: Rutgers study compares racial divide in N.J. schools to 'apartheid'

“Most students in schools where the vast majority of students are black or Latino face poverty as well and grapple with enormous challenges in getting a decent education, a diploma and a seat in college.”

The Atlanticville, October 10, 2013: Red Bank hunger panel provides food for thought

“For the one in seven New Jerseyans who don’t know where their next meal will come from, hunger is a problem of resources. For the countless organizations and advocates working to end hunger throughout the state, it’s a problem of image.”

The News Transcript, October 09, 2013: Affordable housing quotas up for debate

“While a recent state Supreme Court decision was expected to eliminate much of the uncertainty surrounding New Jersey’s affordable housing program, stakeholders still disagree on how the decision will affect residents and taxpayers.”

The Press of Atlantic City, October 09, 2013: (Op-Ed) Vote 'yes' to raise N.J.'s minimum wage

“Americans used to enjoy upward mobility, but in recent decades the prospects for the middle and working classes have been stagnant. During that period of time almost all of the increases in productivity, income and wealth have benefited those who are already quite affluent.”

The Record, October 09, 2013: Pros and cons of hiking N.J.'s minimum wage laid out in Closter debate

“Raising New Jersey’s minimum wage by $1 would either be a job killer that especially hurts teenage workers and small businesses or a modest and overdue acknowledging of the struggles of people on the lowest rung of the economic ladder.”

The Intelligencer, October 08, 2013: Escaping poverty takes ‘a miracle’ in Bucks County

“An estimated 5.4 percent of Bucks residents lived in poverty in 2012, Census records show. That’s up from an estimated 3.5 percent at the start of the recession back in 2009.”

The Star-Ledger, October 04, 2013: (Editorial) Too many hungry kids in N.J.

“More than 630,000 New Jersey children now live in poverty. Many of them will go to bed hungry tonight. Maybe they won’t feel hungry, their little bellies filled with potato chips and cheap bologna, but — according to U.S. Census figures — more than half a million children are living in New Jersey families who earn too little to meet basic needs.”

The Atlanticville News, October 03, 2013: Affordable housing quotas up for debate

“While last week’s long-awaited state Supreme Court decision was expected to eliminate much of the uncertainty surrounding New Jersey’s affordable housing program, stakeholders still disagree on how it will affect local residents and taxpayers.”

The Record, October 02, 2013: Giving mothers and babies a ‘refuge’

“It costs a family about $50 per week per child for baby formula and $150 a month for diapers and related supplies. This means for families earning minimum wage, 30 percent of their take-home pay is earmarked for formula and diapers. Locally, there is some relief available for those families who are struggling to care for infants.”

The Wayne Today, October 02, 2013: Report: NJ makes progress with school breakfasts

“A report finds the number of low-income children who eat breakfast at New Jersey schools has jumped by 21 percent from October 2010 to March 2012.”

The Wayne Today, October 02, 2013: Edison is among school districts serving breakfast after the bell

“In the two years since Edison schools have switched from serving breakfast before classes begin to after the bell rings, more eligible students are being served.”

The Wayne Today, October 01, 2013: NJ schools offering more breakfasts

“Schools in New Jersey are feeding breakfasts to more low-income students, but as many as 320,000 who are eligible are still not being served.”

The South Jersey Times, September 30, 2013: Data finds child poverty on the rise statewide: Cumberland County sees highest increase

“More than 630,000 New Jersey children lived in low-income families earning too little to meet their needs in 2012 — a 19 percent increase since 2008, according to new U.S. Census data.”

The Record, September 29, 2013: Federal cuts put Head Start in North Jersey in a bind

“Need evidence that the federal budget cuts enacted under the so-called sequester are taking a toll on people in North Jersey? Look no further than Head Start, the widely acclaimed program that provides early childhood education and other services to low-income children and their families.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2013: N.J. high court ruling bolsters affordable housing efforts

“In a narrow ruling, the New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the state to rewrite its rules on how many homes municipalities must provide for lower-income residents, striking down provisions that opponents said allowed wealthy towns to avoid building affordable housing.”

The Hackensack Chronicle, September 27, 2013: Head Start locations in Hackensack not affected by federal cuts

“When federal funding cuts took place this year, thousands of low-income children and their introduction to education through Early Head Start and Head Start programs were affected nationwide.”

The Record, September 26, 2013: NJ ordered to strengthen affordable-housing rules

“New Jersey is not doing enough to foster affordable housing in every community, the state Supreme Court said Thursday in a major decision that gives the Christie administration five months to draft new housing rules.”

The Record, September 23, 2013: State's economy improving for some

“The New Jersey economy is getting better — for some people, not everyone. That was the sobering message from data released last week by the state and federal governments.”

The Daily Journal, September 22, 2013: (Editorial) Working poor have earned increase in minimum wage

“These are just some of the reasons why we support the November constitutional referendum that would raise the state’s minimum wage by $1 to $8.25 an hour, with annual automatic adjustments tied to the Consumer Price Index.”

The North Jersey Record, September 19, 2013: NJ may have turned economic corner as state's household incomes rose last year

“For the first time since the 2007-09 recession, New Jersey's household income rose last year, ticking up 1.2 percent to a median $69,667 -- suggesting that the worst is over for the state's economy, though it has not come close to regaining the ground it lost.”

The Daily Journal, September 11, 2013: (Op-Ed) Poverty rates belie rhetoric

“Here’s a statistic Gov. Chris Christie won’t be touting any time soon: Researchers from Legal Services of New Jersey last week issued a report that says nearly a third of New Jerseyans — 2.7 million — are living in poverty. That’s the highest percentage in 50 years.”

The Herald News, September 10, 2013: Many in state still struggle with poverty

“But even when the economy finally accelerates, many people will be left behind, casualties of a pounding recession and a lackadaisical recovery. In parts of New Jersey the picture is especially bleak, judging from a report just published by the Poverty Research Institute, an arm of Legal Services of New Jersey.”

The Huffington Post, September 09, 2013: New Jersey Has A 25 Percent Poverty Rate And A Huge Percentage Of Millionaires Too

“A new report claims one-quarter of New Jerseyans are living in poverty. The study released Sunday by the Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute concludes that more than two million people in New Jersey are struggling to meet their basic needs. Their numbers have increased since the beginning of the economic recession by more than 300,000.”

The Star-Ledger, September 08, 2013: Poverty in N.J. reaches 52-year high, new report shows

“Poverty in New Jersey continued to grow even as the national recession lifted, reaching a 52-year high in 2011, according to a report released today.”

The Cherry Hill Courier-Post, September 07, 2013: Report: N.J. poverty hits 50-year high

“Poverty in New Jersey has hit its highest level in 50 years, and the official measure understates the actual extent of need and want, a nonprofit is reporting today.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 27, 2013: A call for $1 hike in N.J. minimum wage

“New Jersey lawmakers, local officials, and labor and women's rights leaders, citing a need to support working women, called Monday for raising the state's minimum wage.”

The Star-Ledger, August 27, 2013: Coalition calls upon N.J. voters to pass minimum wage hike in fall

“A coalition of lawmakers, labor and social advocacy groups joined together today to call upon New Jersey voters to pass a hike in the minimum wage this fall and to ensure politics won’t delay future increases.”

The East Brunswick Sentinel, August 22, 2013: Soldier On strives to help homeless vets

“More than 7,000 veterans in New Jersey are reported to be homeless each year, but with the help of the nonprofit Soldier On, more and more of them are receiving assistance.”

The Record, August 15, 2013: Residents at county homeless shelter will get IDs to show police

“The county's homeless shelter will start issuing identification cards to its residents on Friday after a police quality-of-life initiative that has resulted in frequent stops of homeless people in the city. The cards will help police know who is staying at the shelter — as opposed to people who falsely claim to be staying there — and those who might need help, officials said.”

The Record, August 12, 2013: Obesity declines

“A sliver of light has finally escaped from the usually dark data on America's weight: Obesity among low-income preschoolers in New Jersey has declined slightly.”

The Courier News, August 12, 2013: No easy fix to create affordable rentals

“Under the affordable housing requirements in the state of New Jersey, every municipality is supposed to have a certain number of homes that are priced to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income families. Within that mix, some of the units can be designated for special-needs individuals or senior citizens. The question is whether there is enough stock of affordable rental units to meet the region's need.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 11, 2013: Aid cuts will cost families 21 meals

“Life may get harsher and hungrier for nearly three million people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey on Nov. 1, when food-stamp benefits will be cut overnight for the first time in U.S. history.”

The Hackensack Chronicle, August 09, 2013: Hackensack's quality of life campaign targets city's homeless

“As shelter administrators said they're working to reduce the number of homeless by getting them social services, drug and alcohol treatment, job training and permanent housing, police said the overwhelming majority of homeless on the streets have extensive criminal records and they aim to strictly enforce the law against panhandling and drinking in public.”

The Record, August 08, 2013: South Bergen residents weigh in on minimum wage

“Who are minimum wage earners in New Jersey? According to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute, they aren't your part-time teen workers looking for some extra pocket money. Eighty-six percent are over 20, most are full-time workers and are married. About 30 percent have some college education, while 13 percent have a bachelor's degree. And 20 percent or more have at least one child.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 06, 2013: Aid groups fear food-stamp cuts

“With food-stamp benefits soon to drop and the prospect of an additional $40 billion in cuts to the federal program looming, New Jersey antihunger organizations worry that the need will grow and they won't be able to meet it.”

The Record, August 04, 2013: Homeless feel targeted by Hackensack’s quality-of-life crackdown

“As part of the effort, police frequently patrol places where homeless gather, stop them, check ID, identifications, run warrants and issue summonses for violations. Police say they're making the streets safer and cleaner; many residents and business owners agree. But homeless people say they're being harassed.”

The Record, July 31, 2013: State audit: Medicaid company cited for shortstaffing of fraud, waste investigators

“One of the four private insurance companies that manage the care of the state’s Medicaid population was criticized in an audit released Wednesday for not having enough investigators to root out fraud and waste.”

The Montclair Times, July 23, 2013: Defunct Social Security facility to become homeless-veterans residence

“Last week, Westervelt found out that his proposal - to demolish the Social Security structure at 396 Bloomfield Ave. and replace it with a four-story building to provide permanent housing and mental health services to homeless veterans - received conditional approval from the federal government.”

The Washington Post, July 20, 2013: Redevelopment efforts to keep Atlantic City grand for tourists push poor to outskirts of town

“The battle is the latest conflict here in which low-income or middle-class residents believe developers and officials are casting aside their homes like the plastic houses in Monopoly, the board game inspired by Atlantic City real estate.”

The Asbury Park Press, July 19, 2013: (Op-Ed) Saltsman: No automatic minimum wage hikes

“Earlier this year, both Democrats in the state Legislature and Republican Gov. Chris Christie agreed to increase the state’s minimum wage. This bipartisan coalition in favor of a bad idea didn’t hold up for long, however: Christie asked the Legislature to phase in the increase over a three-year period, and objected to a provision that would have put future hikes on autopilot.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 18, 2013: Probe: About 100 public workers lied to get free school lunches

“An investigation into 15 New Jersey school districts turned up more than 100 public employees and family members who lied about their incomes to get free school lunches for their children, according to the state comptroller. Their applications bolstered district enrollment figures in the federal free lunch program - a factor that allows school districts to receive more state aid.”

The Record, July 18, 2013: Police reach out to Hackensack homeless with water, fruit during heatwave

“’It’s hot out there and one of the things we’re doing is interacting with people,’ said Hackensack Police Director Michael Mordaga. ‘We’re giving them cold water and fruit and explaining to them they’re better off hanging out in homeless shelter.’ The city’s homeless population factors high into policing efforts in the city, Mordaga said.”

The Record, July 18, 2013: Rutherford appoints COAH Administrator to take on the complicated side of affordable housing

“The Rutherford Council voted to hire an economics firm to help sift through the confusion of Rutherford’s affordable housing requirements and is considering handing over COAH funds to the state.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 17, 2013: (Editorial) Christie dragging feet on affordable housing

“It's time for New Jersey to stop playing games over affordable housing and require municipalities to meet their legal obligation to open up their borders to the less affluent.”

The Record, July 17, 2013: N.J. Comptroller: Paterson school board member among 109 people cited in school lunch fraud probe

“Dozens of public employees, teachers and school board members trying to get free lunch for their kids shaved at least $25,000 off their income when applying for the taxpayer-funded benefits, a top state investigator says. Seventeen others tried to hide more than $100,000, according to the investigator’s office, and one signed off on a form that cut the family income by $220,000 to take advantage of a program designed to feed the nation’s poorest children.”

The Star-Ledger, July 12, 2013: Buono: N.J.’s minimum wage is ‘atrocity,’ voters should raise it this fall

“Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono today called it an ‘atrocity’ that New Jersey’s minimum wage is not higher than the federal minimum, joining other politicians and labor leaders in urging voters to approve a pay hike when it appears on the ballot this November.”

The Record, July 12, 2013: Booker talks child poverty in Edgewater

“Newark Mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker presented his first federal policy plan at the George Washington School on July 8, unveiling a four-part blueprint for the eradication of child poverty nationwide. Booker chose the setting because poverty in Bergen County has grown significantly in recent years, said his press secretary, Ajashu Thomas.”

The Star-Ledger, July 11, 2013: (Editorial) Court slaps down Christie’s overreach on housing

“So it came as welcome news to learn that the state Supreme Court yesterday blocked Christie from sabotaging efforts to create affordable housing by abolishing the independent agency charged with that task. The agency, the Council on Affordable Housing, was created in 1985 in response to a Supreme Court ruling that struck down barriers to affordable housing and required the state and local governments to actively promote opportunities to build it.”

The North-South Brunswick Sentinel, July 11, 2013: Middlesex County ranks high in child well-being survey

“Middlesex County ranked fifth in the Kids Count survey conducted by Advocates for Children of New Jersey. The annual survey measures the wellbeing of children statewide by measuring standards in 13 key areas, including infant mortality and state exams. ‘While the rankings shift every year, we see certain trends across many counties, including increasing child poverty, unemployment and high housing costs,’ said Cecilia Zalkind, executive director of Advocates for Children of New Jersey.”

The Star-Ledger, July 10, 2013: N.J. Supreme Court blocks Christie’s plan to abolish affordable-housing agency

“Gov. Chris Christie cannot shut down an independent state agency charged with building affordable housing for New Jersey’s poorest residents, the state Supreme Court ruled today. The decision deals a blow to the Republican governor’s agenda and shields other independent agencies from similar power grabs.”

The Record, July 10, 2013: Christie blasts justices after N.J. Supreme Court says he can’t eliminate housing agency

“In a 5-2 decision, the court ruled that Christie overstepped his authority in 2011 when he announced plans to abolish the Council on Affordable Housing. Christie used the state's Executive Reorganization Act of 1969, which gives the governor the power to rearrange state government. But the justices noted that another law, the 1985 Fair Housing Act that created the council, was designed to insulate affordable-housing decisions from political pressures.”

The Star-Ledger, July 08, 2013: Booker proposes government-funded college accounts in run-up to Senate primary

“Newark Mayor and U.S. Senate hopeful Cory Booker today will release a plan to curb childhood poverty nationally by increasing federal benefits for the poor, expanding access to affordable housing and making pre-school and college more available to America's low-income families.”

The Record, July 08, 2013: Booker unveils plan to help children escape poverty

“In a speech in Edgewater, Booker unveiled a series of proposals aimed at helping children emerge from poverty. He said the ideas will save money for the government over time by attacking poverty itself rather than responding to its effects.”

The Record, July 07, 2013: (Op-Ed) At a minimum – the wages debate in New Jersey

“For New Jerseyans working at minimum wage, it appears an increase for them will be granted by the state’s registered voters who, this November, will decide on a ballot question increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour and tie future increases to the cost of living index.”

The Record, July 07, 2013: (Op-Ed) Minimum wage doesn’t belong in the state Constitution

“This fall, the most important question on the ballot isn’t who should govern the state in Trenton or represent it in Washington, but whether the state constitution should be altered to hike the minimum wage and put it on autopilot to rise in most years thereafter. It’s a radical means of pursuing a debatable public policy — and it sets a dangerous precedent for contentious issues that deserve proper debate through the state’s normal legislative process.”

The Star-Ledger, July 03, 2013: (Blog) Too many still need safe homes: Opinion

“Not including those displaced by Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey has more than 25,000 homeless individuals and families, 7,000 people with developmental disabilities on a state waiting list for community housing, and approximately 18,000 men and women living in rooming and boarding homes rather than their own apartments. We are an affluent state that has not addressed its shortage of homes for our most vulnerable residents.”

The Record, July 01, 2013: SOS in Wanaque and West Milford feeling the heat of financial cutbacks

“Back in its heyday, SOS shelters had 188 women and children. Today it’s down to 40 to 50 residents and only receives funding for 10 to 12 of them, Ramos said, even though she’s certain they would be out on the street or back with their batterers if not for SOS. Due to government cutbacks, the organization’s funding has dropped from over $200,000 a month to about $20,000, Ramos said.”

The Chicago Tribune, June 28, 2013: New Jersey’s Christie vetoes Medicaid expansion bill

“New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Friday vetoed a bill that attempted to make the state's expansion of Medicaid eligibility permanent under the healthcare law known as Obamacare, his office said on Friday.”

The Star-Ledger, June 24, 2013: N.J. retains top 10 ranking as one of best places to raise a child, report says

“New Jersey is the fifth best state in America to raise a child, with fewer kids in poverty, more attending preschool and more graduating high school on time than the national average, a new report released today shows. With the annual Kids Count report, New Jersey has now ranked in the top ten kid-friendly states for 15 consecutive years, although it slipped one spot from last year’s survey. The report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation uses the latest government data to measure family health, wealth and stability.”

The Star-Ledger, June 19, 2013: Top N.J. Democrats, unions kick off campaign to raise the minimum wage

“Two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, the party’s nominee for governor and top union leaders this morning kicked off a campaign to raise state’s minimum wage. ’You look all around this region and poor working people are having to pay more for rent, more for food, more for gas, more for transportation, more for tuition,’ Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the frontrunner for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, told about 65 people gathered at the New Hope Baptist Church. ‘All of these costs going up but minimum wage has stayed the same.’”

The Jersey Journal, June 06, 2013: Jersey City schools make big progress in serving free and reduced-price breakfasts

“The 47-year-old federal program pays for free breakfasts for children who come from families with incomes at or below $29,965, which is 130 percent of the federal poverty level. Children from families with incomes at or below $42,643 can receive reduced-price breakfasts.”

The Record, June 05, 2013: Advocates fight to stop Christie administration from taking up to $165M from local housing funds

“Affordable-housing advocates told an appellate panel of judges Wednesday that the Christie administration, in its rush to balance the state budget, ‘set up’ towns to fail when it tried to take up to $165 million in local housing funds. Kevin Walsh, an attorney for the Fair Share Housing Center, argued that the move would put thousands of units of housing for low-income and disabled New Jerseyans at risk and stifle development that is needed to help rebuild after superstorm Sandy devastated houses along the shore last year.”

The New Jersey Times, June 01, 2013: New bill sponsored by state Sen. Shirley Turner could benefit businesses and impoverished cities

“A bill aimed at bringing new business to impoverished neighborhoods received final legislative approval and is now headed to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk to be signed, state Sen. Shirley Turner said in a news release yesterday.”

Daily Record, June 1, 2013: With Community Hope, veterans find courage to rebuild

“Transitioning into civilian life can be one of the most difficult processes for veterans, many of whom are distressed, disabled or homeless, many say. Yet, like Ehrie, hundreds of veterans have taken the steps they need to become self-sufficient again through Community Hope at the VA NJ Healthcare campus.”

South Jersey Times, May 25, 2013: Salem, Cumberland counties again at bottom for state Kids Count child health rankings

“The Kids Count report, which is complied yearly by the Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ), measures progress in improving the lives of children in 15 critical areas including child health, safety and education. The ACNJ reported Salem County in the "worse" category, as it dropped from its 2012 18th place ranking. This year, Salem reported 22 percent of its child population living below the poverty line.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 22, 2013: South Jersey counties see increase in poor children

“Camden and Gloucester Counties both saw an increase in the percentage of children living in poverty from 2010 to 2011, while in Burlington County, median family income dropped and more than half of the county's families paid more than the recommended 30 percent of income for housing, according to a new study released Wednesday.”

The Record, May 22, 2013: Number of poor children in New Jersey is rising, study finds

“The study, by Advocates for New Jersey, found that the number of children living below the poverty line in the Garden State swelled by 25 percent between 2007 and 2011.”

New Jersey Star-Ledger, May 22, 2013: Poverty up 20 percent among New Jersey children, report says

“In 2011, almost one-third of New Jersey’s children 5 and under were living in low-income households — defined as those earning at or below 200 percent of the poverty level, or about $37,000 for a family of three — according to the report. From 2007, when the Great Recession began, to 2011, the number of children living in poverty climbed 20 percent, the report found, and families with the youngest children were the hardest hit.”

The Star-Ledger, May 22, 2013: Poverty up 20 percent among N.J. children, report says

“To cope with families’ diminished resources, enrollment soared by 80 percent in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, which served about 400,000 children last year, according to the report. The number of students getting free or reduced-price breakfasts rose 24 percent, and lunches 17 percent.”

The Star-Ledger, May 21, 2013: 'Suburban poverty' no longer an oxymoron thanks to changing economy

“Lower-wage jobs in the retail, landscaping and the food-services industry have migrated into the suburbs in recent years, said Alan Berube, senior fellow at Brookings and co-author of the book. He explained that as second- and third-generation immigrants as well as African Americans moved from cities to the suburbs, they created opportunities for low-wage jobs, which brought new immigrants and increased poverty levels.”

The Republican, May 06, 2013: MassMutual offers free life insurance policies to low-income families

“Ten years ago the company created a program that would donate 20,000 $50,000 life insurance policies nationwide to low-income families. The policies last ten years and would go directly to the children of the deceased for educational costs. So far close to 13,000 people have qualified for the insurance. The company would like to issue 20,000 policies by the end of the year.”

The Record, April 29, 2013: NJ leads nation in pre-school resources, despite national trend of cuts, report says

“Children in New Jersey's poorest cities have benefited from a 1998 state Supreme Court mandate requiring the state to offer free preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds in those cities. Some low-income children outside those urban areas have access, too, but advocates have expressed frustration that the state's plans to expand preschools have stalled despite parents' demands.”

The Star-Ledger, March 26, 2013: (Blog) N.J. study shows preschool is a smart investment

“This is why the best early childhood programs pay for themselves. They reduce welfare rolls and prison costs, and have been shown to cut the need for special education services nearly in half. So the real question here isn't whether to invest in preschool. It's what kind of preschool it is: Quality matters.”

Asbury Park Press, March 23, 2013: Homeless advocates ask for help to pressure Ocean County

“Kelsey said the committee needs to immediately provide help to STEPS, or the May 3 court imposed deadline will not be met. Superior Court Judge Joseph Foster approved the agreement between the homeless and township because STEPS would help find homes for the campers.”

The Star-Ledger, March 11, 2013: Gap between poor and their ability to pay rent grows, agencies say

“According to the report, for every 100 low-income renters, there are only 30 available units. Most new construction and renovations are for high-income families, Poppe said.”

South Jersey Times, March 06, 2013: Gateway Community Action Partnership awards dental grant to low-income children, families

“Gateway Community Action Partnership has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation to continue the Community Connections for Bright Smiles program. The program covers the cost of oral exams, preventative care and education for low-income children and families in Cumberland, Salem and Gloucester counties.”

Asbury Park Press, March 06, 2013: Report: Low-income renters hit hardest by Sandy

“Of all the people who registered for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in New Jersey, nearly 45 percent reported household incomes of less than $30,000 per year, the advocacy group, Enterprise Community Partners of Maryland, reported.”

Times of Trenton, March 01, 2013: (Editorial) Number of homeless Trenton students is staggering

“The district must do more to provide hands-on attention, he says, than simply handing out a phone number for HomeFront or other agencies and making a quick referral. Mercer County has a strong network of services and help for the homeless. But without access to a computer or a social worker or an empathetic ear, some families may not know where to turn in the blur of events leading to loss of their home.”

The Record, February 27, 2013: More aid sought for early schooling

“Preschool advocates are renewing a plea for more state funding for free preschool for low-income children wherever they live, saying New Jersey has failed to live up to a 2008 promise to provide it.”

The Star-Ledger, February 27, 2013: Christie's Medicaid decision draws praise across N.J.

“Democratic lawmakers and advocacy groups praised Gov. Chris Christie's decision to expand the state's Medicaid program to cover tens of thousands of uninsured New Jerseyans yesterday, calling it a compassionate move that would help the state economy. Although Christie emphasized he is ‘no fan of the Affordable Care Act,’ he said the move was ‘the smart thing to do for our fiscal and public health.’”

The Record, February 25, 2013: (Op-Ed) Christie should opt for more federal funding

“Governor Christie should use his annual budget address on Tuesday to announce that New Jersey will expand its Medicaid program in accordance with federal health care legislation. That's the right thing to do for an estimated 300,000 low-income residents and for the state as a whole.”

The Star-Ledger, February 25, 2013: Sequestration could spell cuts for N.J. schools, Head Start preschools

“The looming cuts, if they occur, are expected to hit hard in New Jersey's public schools and Head Start classrooms. David Sciarra, executive director of the Newark-based Education Law Center, said one analysis said special education could lose more than $18 million in New Jersey; Head Start programs could be cut by $7.6 million; and Title 1 funds -- which pay for basic skills programs for poor and struggling children -- could be cut by nearly $16 million.”

The Jersey Journal, February 24, 2013: Third-district to receive $260,000 in grants for low-income residents

“Tri-County Community Action Agency will receive $239,234 to help low-income individuals in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties with health, education, employment, housing and other services that benefit low-income communities.”

The Star-Ledger, February 10, 2013: Latest child welfare report shows 'staggering data' on growing up in Newark

“The findings in the report are ‘shocking’ and ‘alarming,’ Zalkind said. Kids Count provides a yearly snapshot of the well-being of children in Newark, based on health, education and economic factors. For the first time, Kids Count examined poverty levels in Newark by age group and found that five out of 10 children age 5 and younger live in poverty.”

The Star Ledger, February 06, 2013: Cory Booker, leaders announce Facebook funds for new Newark initiative

“The youngest residents of Newark will be getting an influx of the city’s Facebook challenge grant money that's aimed at boosting early childhood development, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and community leaders announced today. The $250,000 matching grant comes as part of the overall push to transform public education in the state’s largest city, kicked off by the $100 million challenge gifted by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.”

The Record, January 30, 2013: Democrats propose restoring tax credit

“Democratic lawmakers are taking Governor Christie up on his offer to restore an income tax credit for low-income workers that he cut in 2010 -- but with a twist. On Monday, Christie conditionally vetoed a bill that would have raised the state minimum wage to $8.50 from $7.25 and tied future increases to inflation. The governor made a counterproposal to raise the minimum by a dollar over three years and restore a cut he had made in the Earned Income Tax Credit.”

The Star-Ledger, January 29, 2013: Education commissioner, Senate committee spar on school funding

“A number of education issues were on the agenda when Cerf appeared before the committee: The ongoing plan for new teacher evaluations; a proposal for an alternate certification pathway for teachers in charter schools; and discussion of school security measures, in the wake of the tragic school shootings in Newtown, Conn. But one of the first things Education Committee Chairwoman Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) asked about was the governor's Educational Adequacy Report, a proposal that would adjust the state's school funding formula to give less extra aid to districts with high numbers of low-income and limited-English-speaking students. Both the Senate and Assembly budget committees have adopted resolutions objecting to the report.”

The Record, January 28, 2013: Christie's battle against housing council goes before high court today

“Governor Christie's long and contentious battle to weaken New Jersey's strict affordable housing requirements will reach a crucial moment today when the state Supreme Court considers whether to allow him to unilaterally abolish the agency that enforces housing rules. Not only do advocates fear Christie will use the opportunity to undermine rules that require towns to build housing for low-income residents, they say it would set a dangerous precedent and give New Jersey's governor, viewed as one of the most powerful in the country, even more control over state government.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 27, 2013: Displaced, downtrodden in N.J.

“Since Sandy struck New Jersey, those affected on the margins of society - the working poor, unemployed, welfare recipients, and those who just never got their lives off the ground - have struggled to find housing and employment in what experts worry could amount to a social crisis in years to come.”

Jersey Journal, January 23, 2013: Homeless in Hudson County will be counted, needs assessed next Wednesday

“The count, which is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, consists of a survey given to homeless individuals to find out their specific needs. ‘The point is to collect as much information as possible on the homeless,’ said Randi Moore of the Division of Housing and Community Development. ‘We need to paint a picture of what it's like over here so we can design our services and programs accordingly.’”

Jersey Journal, January 17, 2013: (Op-Ed) Seeing and helping the poor among us

“New Jersey's situation is particularly troublesome. The third wealthiest state in the union with the seventh largest economy has 2 million people below the poverty line and the rate rose for the fourth consecutive year, according to Legal Services of N.J.”

Atlantis Highlands Herald, January 09, 2013: (Op-Ed) Expand Medicaid in New Jersey

“Expanding Medicaid can provide better care, enabling hard-working, low-income wage earners to catch medical conditions early, when treatment can be much cheaper and more effective. This can save both money and needless suffering. In fact, studies show that expanding Medicaid results in fewer unnecessary deaths because it enables low-income people to get preventive care and life-saving drugs.”

Daily Record, January 01, 2013: For families, a new year of challenges

“Census data from 2011 showed one-third of children here live in families considered low-income, making, said Cecilia Zalkind, executive director for Advocates of Children in New Jersey, which releases Kids Count data. A low-income family has four or fewer people living off $44,000 per year, she said.”

The Bismarck Tribune, December 31, 2012: Report: Nearly half of SD pregnancies unintended

“Nearly half of South Dakota's pregnancies are unintended, and about 13 percent of those result in abortions, according to a report by the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute. The report, meant to encourage states to promote the use of contraceptives, indicates that the highest rates of unintended pregnancies are among low-income women.”

South Jersey Times, December 26, 2012: $430K in grants will aid low-income 3rd District residents pay winter heating bills

“More than $430,000 in heating assistance grants, under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), have been awarded to agencies in the 3rd Legislative District by the state Department of Community Affairs.”

Courier-Post, December 25, 2012: Grant to create apartments for single women, homeless mothers

“A Burlington County nonprofit housing agency will use a $350,000 grant to develop transitional apartments for single women or homeless mothers with children.”

The Star-Ledger, December 11, 2012: New Jersey ranks as 8th healthiest state in the nation

“The percentage of New Jersey children living in poverty continues to rise, according to the rankings. The survey found 17.4 percent of children live below the poverty line, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as a household of four living on less than $22,811.”

Home News Tribune, December 05, 2012: Perth Amboy Salvation Army receives $285,000 shelter grant

“The grant will enable the Salvation Army to make needed improvements to its transitional residence and emergency shelter for homeless men at the 433 State St. facility. The Salvation Army plans to expand the number of shelter beds, make building safety improvements and purchase equipment, furnishings and vans to improve living conditions for shelter residents.”

The Star-Ledger, December 04, 2012: Change in eligibility rules leaves thousands of N.J. residents without healthcare, lawmakers say

“Facing a wide budget gap in early 2010, the Christie administration announced it would not accept any more parents as new applicants and limited eligibility to only those families making no more than 33 percent above the federal poverty rate, or $25,390 for a family of three, based on current income standards. Before the change, FamilyCare accepted parents if they had earned up to twice the poverty rate.”

The Star-Ledger, November 27, 2012: National group urges N.J. to expand Medicaid to more low-income residents

“As Gov. Chris Christie decides whether to expand Medicaid to 300,000 more low-income people under ‘Obamacare,’ a national study by a nonpartisan research group yesterday estimated it would cost New Jersey $1.5 billion, or 2 percent more over the next decade, and would generate seven times that amount to cover most of the expense.”

The Star-Ledger, November 25, 2012: Q&A: Why marriage may be the strongest antidote to child poverty

“Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, has studied the impact of marriage on poverty for 35 years. He explained to editorial writer Julie O'Connor why he thinks marriage is the strongest antidote to child poverty.”

Asbury Park Press, November 24, 2012: Plight of homeless made worse by Sandy

“Over the course of a year, about 29,000 men, women and children find themselves homeless in New Jersey, according to housing officials. In just a few dark hours last month, superstorm Sandy swept countless others from their homes to the makeshift shelters and vacant hotel rooms across Monmouth and Ocean counties.”

The Star-Ledger, November 21, 2012: (Editorial) Gov. Christie should not turn down Medicaid expansion funds

“But tell that to the more than 300,000 working adults without health insurance who aren't eligible for Medicaid now because our state doesn't cover adults without children unless they go on welfare and make less than $140 a month. These low-income people would be newly eligible if Christie expands the program. They can't afford the cost of insurance on the individual market. And most work for small employers who can't afford to provide insurance for them. But when they end up in the emergency room, we all pick up the tab.”

Herald News, November 19, 2012: New fund to help low-income storm victims

“The Bergen County Community Action Partnership in Hackensack is coordinating a new statewide fund geared to address needs among low-income victims of the storm. The Sandy Aftermath Fund for Economic Recovery -- or SAFER -- is being pulled together by Community Action programs around the country.”

Courier News, November 19, 2012: Gladstone Tavern hosts Thanksgiving dinner for veterans

“For the sixth year, Tom Carlin, chef/owner of Gladstone Tavern, and his family will trade in a day at home together to serve Thanksgiving dinners to formerly homeless veterans who won't have family to feast with.”

The Daily Journal, November 19, 2012: Food stamps offered to some Sandy victims

“Some Cumberland County residents affected by Hurricane Sandy will be eligible to apply for emergency food stamps starting next week.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 14, 2012: COAH case could alter N.J. towns’ affordable-housing rules

“For nearly 30 years, a court ruling aimed at preventing discrimination against low-income families has informed decisions on how much affordable housing New Jersey towns must have. Those guidelines could change significantly if the state Supreme Court agrees with municipalities and the Christie administration that development should determine the number of low-cost units in a town.”

Home News Tribune, November 12, 2012: Breakfast after the bell a timely improvement

“Typically left out of the discussion is the single biggest thing affecting children and the quality of their education - their lives outside the classroom. Poverty, and a lack of support at home, harm a student's learning capability more than anything that occurs inside a school, yet politicians too often talk as if all outside societal problems can be overcome with quality instruction alone.”

Montclair Times, November 08, 2012: MESH activities target homelessness and hunger

“Beginning tomorrow night, Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless (MESH) will sponsor a week of programs and activities highlighting concerns of hunger and homeless people in Montclair and throughout the nation.”

Northern Valley Suburbanite, November 07, 2012: Temporary residents forced from homeless shelter in Closter

“Hurricane Sandy forced 15 homeless temporary residents of the homeless shelter at New Jersey Harvest Church in Closter, including 11 children, to be moved to Ridgewood after it suffered damage in the storm. The families are part of a program where a different congregation in the area hosts them for a week before they move on to the next church.”

The Washington Post, October 30, 2012: Atlantic City residents take stock of storm damage

“Those who stayed behind in Atlantic City to ride out Hurricane Sandy emerged from waterlogged homes and hiding places a little after 10 a.m. Tuesday to find the largest crowds jostling for position in front of the 24/7 Food Market. The line was much shorter at the convenience store just a few blocks down the street. But the 24/7 Food Market had a special appeal to the impoverished, bargain-conscious shoppers who were left in the city in the wake of the massive hurricane.”

The Record, October 29, 2012: Women's Center helps homeless find housing

“Over the past 16 years that program has helped dozens of homeless women find safe, affordable places to live in a county where the price of even a one-bedroom apartment is often well beyond their reach. Lorenzo noted that the rents charged by homeowners who participate in Shared Housing range from $350 to $800 a month. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Bergen County is about $1,300.”

The Star-Ledger, October 29, 2012: (Blog) Playground sparks Newark makeover

“The playground marks a very important milestone in the Fairmount neighborhood of Newark and it's part of a multiyear plan to revitalize a community that for too long has been depressed by poverty and crime. Most of its green spaces are cemeteries. And yet, Fairmount is also home to resilient families and community members who are embarking on a journey to restore Fairmount to its former vibrant self.”

The Daily Journal, October 29, 2012: Rutgers to examine 'working poor' in NJ

“Researchers from Rutgers University are starting field work next month on a long-term project to interview South Jersey's ‘working poor’ families and the organizations that could, but may not, be helping them with everything from getting jobs to finding day care.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 21, 2012: Atlantic City seeks to move rescue missions beyond tourist district

“Momentum is building to move three social-service providers away from Atlantic City's tourism district, where authorities say the homeless and drug-addicted populations they attract contradict the family-friendly image the resort is promoting. Prospective locations in the city have been identified for Sister Jean's Soup Kitchen and the John Brooks Recovery Center, a treatment facility and methadone clinic, officials said.”

Asbury Park Press, October 14, 2012: Consumers learn high cost of being poor in N.J.

“Collectively, helping the poor touches everyone's life, and income. By one estimate, $668 billion a year is spent on anti-poverty and low-income aid programs - from Medicaid to college grants - at an average cost of $6,600 per family that is not in poverty. But the low-income-high-price paradox is a way of life facing more people. Nationally, 46.2 million people were in poverty, or 15 percent of the population, up from 39.3 million in 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”

Herald News, October 13, 2012: Paramus Catholic students learn what it means to be homeless, if only for a weekend

“Held near the relative safety of the school's softball field, the outdoor event was nevertheless designed as a lesson meant to last a lifetime -- an illustration of what it means to be homeless. For 30 hours, students eat minimal food, live with no cellphone and shiver in the cold autumn air.”

Home News Tribune, October 13, 2012: Highland Park church's challenge reveals horrors of minimum-wage workers

“People who live on minimum wage don't depend on the federal government to survive, said participants in an economic justice forum on Wednesday at the borough's Reformed Church. Rather, they are locked into a system of restrictions that prevent upward mobility and dampen economic security, they said.”

Home News Tribune, October 12, 2012: Make A Difference Day project focuses on new Middlesex County Weekend Backpack program

“Of the approximately 185,000 children in Middlesex County, 10 percent live in poverty, according to statistics compiled by the United Way of Central Jersey. A Rutgers University study suggests that a ‘sustainable income’ for a parent and child in the county is $61,149 annually. Yet, United Way employees working at the Milltown-based office recently met with a young man leading a family of three who was happy to find a job paying $6,000 a year.”

Jersey Journal, October 09, 2012: (Op-Ed) Politicians have difficulty defining the middle class

“Just a few days earlier, the Census Bureau released annual poverty statistics showing a 1.5 percent decline in household income across the country for everyone except top earners. Its definition of poverty is an under-65 single individual with income of less than $11,702 a year, slightly less for seniors, and $22,881 for a family of four. You'll get no argument from me when you protest no one can survive on that pittance, but it's probably less difficult in some states than here.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 03, 2012: N.J. lags in serving breakfast at school

“New Jersey saw a 21 percent rise in the number of low-income students who get school breakfasts, but it still lags far behind most other states, a report released Tuesday found. In South Jersey, seven charter schools or districts were among 64 high-poverty districts statewide where less than 31 percent of eligible students receive subsidized school breakfasts, according to the study by Advocates for Children of New Jersey, a nonprofit child research and action organization.”

The Record, October 03, 2012: N.J. schools serving breakfast to only a third of those eligible

“The importance of the school breakfast program comes against a backdrop of rising child poverty and a push by advocates to have schools serve breakfast early in the school day -- but after the bell has sounded. Those advocates say many schools have been unable to get children to arrive early enough for breakfast before that first bell rings, so it's important to serve it in the first few minutes of the school day -- during morning announcements, attendance and other warm-up activities.”

Wayne Today, October 01, 2012: (Editorial) Take action on Oct. 14 against hunger

“The Census Bureau recently reported that the number of "working poor" has climbed to the highest level since the 60s. The overall poverty rate has risen from 13.2 percent to 14.3 percent - or 43.5 million people. That's one in every seven Americans. In New Jersey, poverty rate is up from nine to 9.3 percent, up roughly 33,000 people, while child poverty is up from 12.2 to 13.3 percent.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 30, 2012: Sweeney's minimum-wage ballot bid seen as shrewd

“At the current rate, working 40 hours a week, a minimum-wage worker in New Jersey would make just over $15,000 a year. That's just $4,000 above the federal poverty rate for a single person, let alone a family. Given New Jersey's expensive housing, antipoverty advocates say, workers need to earn more than $44,700 to keep a family of four out of poverty.”

Courier-Post, September 22, 2012: (Op-Ed) Camden's 'poorest' label is no surprise

“The official designation is bad: This is the poorest town in America, the Census Bureau said last week. But the personal view's even worse: ‘Camden is the saddest place on earth,’ declared Adrian Bartholomew, who was part of a knot of methadone clinic clients milling outside City Hall on Friday morning. An estimated 42.5 percent of Camden's nearly 80,000 residents live below the poverty line, according to a Census Bureau review of 2011 figures.”

The Record, September 20, 2012: Census figures show N.J. is hurting: incomes are down, public assistance is up

“More families received food stamps, fewer children were in private school and incomes dropped in New Jersey in 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday -- all signs pointing to a continued erosion of prosperity in one of the nation's wealthiest states. While many of the statistics changed only slightly, together they paint a picture of a state economy that was still lagging last year, well after the recession officially ended in 2009. New Jersey is still better off than most of the nation, with higher incomes and lower poverty rates.”

The Star-Ledger, September 02, 2012: New report puts a harrowing face on the plight of N.J.'s working poor

“In an unprecedented new study, five years in the making, the United Way of Northern New Jersey presents a harrowing picture of the state's working poor. The report, called ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) is a study of the true face of financial hardship in New Jersey, authored by Stephanie Hoopes Halpin, the director of the New Jersey DataBank at Rutgers University. This is no rehash of government poverty statistics. It is, instead, a disturbing look under the hood at exactly what it takes to survive in the Garden State, who can -- and cannot -- make ends meet.”

Asbury Park Press, August 30, 2012: (Op-Ed) Restore workers' tax credit

“The program in question is the state Earned Income Tax Credit. Since 2000, the state of New Jersey has partnered with the federal government to offer a refundable tax credit for low- and middle-income workers. The credit helps offset the high cost of living in New Jersey and gives adults an incentive to work instead of relying on welfare or other public programs. Christie chose to cut the state tax credit in 2010, effectively raising taxes on the state's poorest workers by an average of $200 per year, according to the New Jersey Policy Perspective research organization.”

Herald News, August 19, 2012: Bergen vets lack access to program to avoid homelessness

“‘The goal of the program is to assist low-income veterans and their families before they become homeless,’ said Julia Bey Ahmet, the non-profit's vice president of development. ‘If they become homeless, we seek to rapidly re-house them before they get lost in the homelessness system.’ To find veterans whose families are homeless or at risk of becoming so, Community Hope does extensive outreach, Ahmet added.”

Courier News, August 18, 2012: Nonprofit to aid low-income kidney disease patients

“She has started a nonprofit organization and is raising funds for low-income kidney disease patients at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, as well as raising awareness about the disease and the importance of organ donations.”

The Star-Ledger, August 11, 2012: (Editorial) Atlantic City needs help addressing homeless problem

“There are many reasons the homeless come to Atlantic City: for shelter, a feeding kitchen, a temporary job. Many hope that charity follows a windfall; a lucky winner may be feeling generous. But for too long, this entire city has been on a losing streak -- and having panhandlers on the streets doesn't help. With the recent opening of the Revel luxury casino and Gov. Chris Christie's effort to recast its seedier side as family-friendly, Atlantic City is fighting for its image. So you can understand the frustration of local officials: They're trying to attract tourists, not homeless people.”

Clifton Journal, August 10, 2012: Clifton food pantry collecting back-to-school supplies for needy children in community

“The Haven was founded 25 years ago, provides transitional shelter for homeless families and is home to one of the few pantries in our area. Its mission is to provide shelter, support and care for those in crisis. The pantry currently assists approximately 1,600 persons each month. Part of the crisis is the children of the families who will not have the needed tools to learn this September when school reopens.”

Twin-Boro News, August 09, 2012: Vantage Health System awarded $2.1 million grant

“Vantage Health System has recently been awarded a grant in the amount of $2,147,818 from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant, named "Opening Doors," is a two-year grant which will allow Vantage to stabilize the living situation of 50 homeless families with school aged children in Bergen County.”

The Record, August 06, 2012: Dumont non-profit gets $2M to help homeless families

“[F]amilies account for a growing percentage of the homeless these days. And among households headed by individuals with physical, emotional or developmental disabilities, finding or holding on to a job or other financial support system necessary to keep a family in permanent housing is no easy task. Especially in this economic climate. Vicki Sidrow, CEO of the Vantage Health System in Dumont, hopes the $2.1 million grant her non-profit agency just received from the federal government will go a long way toward addressing that issue in Bergen County.”

The Record, July 30, 2012: Gap between rich and poor grows wider

“‘Our concern is low-income families have been hit very hard by the recession, and the job opportunities may not be there for them,’ said Ceil Zalkind, executive director of Advocates for Children of New Jersey. It is estimated that one in three children in the state lives below the poverty line, defined as an annual income of $44,000 for a family of four, she said.”

The Star-Ledger, July 29, 2012: Study: N.J. wealthy flourishing, gap between rich and poor is largest since Great Depression

“In its first in-depth look at the widening gap between the haves and have-nots, the group's Poverty Research Institute found: New Jersey's top 20 percent saw their average income rise by 22 percent from 2000 to 2009; Those earning less than $34,300 -- about 3 million people -- took home even smaller average paychecks by decade's end.”

Gloucester County Times, July 21, 2012: G.G. Green building developers awarded affordable housing funding, slated for completion in 2013

“RPM Development has been awarded the affordable housing funding it needed to proceed with the highly anticipated redevelopment of the historic and decaying G.G. Green Building. The project was one of two affordable housing projects in Gloucester County to receive a portion of the $18.7 million in funds from Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits.”

Jersey Journal, July 19, 2012: (Op-Ed) Toward a broadly shared prosperity

“Our redevelopment efforts have been a success. But the prosperity apparent in some of our neighborhoods is not shared by all. More than one out of six, 17.5 percent, of Jersey City residents live below the federal poverty level, significantly higher than the statewide poverty rate of 9.1 percent. Among those in poverty may be service workers in the very buildings that have benefited from our redevelopment efforts.”

The Jersey Journal, July 17, 2012: Three Hudson County groups rate grants to fund health education

“HOPES CAP in Hoboken received $20,000 for its HOPES on the Road program, which introduces residents of low-income neighborhoods to services that include one-on-one counseling, weekly health education events, lunch-and-learn workshops, translation services, and transportation to health care facilities.”

The Record, July 17, 2012: North Jersey food pantries near empty; donations at a low as demand rises

“Demand has reached all time highs — each organization is serving upward of 5,000 families a month, all of whom must show they’re eligible for public assistance in order to qualify for food packages. That reflects historic highs in the poverty rates both in urban centers like Paterson and North Jersey’s wealthier suburbs.”

The Jersey Journal, July 16, 2012: Fewer of Hudson County poor getting free legal help

“An increasing number of poor people in Hudson County and across the state are finding themselves without legal assistance in civil cases, according to a recent report.”

The New York Post, July 10, 2012: New Jersey's Tent City sure ain't Surf City

"The last time I visited this homeless community of tent dwellers was in February when experts were predicting that the US was creating so many jobs that the economy would not even be a major issue in the presidential election."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 30, 2012: Christie signs $31.7B New Jersey budget

"Gov. Christie signed a $31.7 billion budget bill Friday for the coming fiscal year, but not before he cut $361 million in Democratic-backed initiatives, including measures that would have provided more money for legal services to the poor, aid for low-income students aiming for college, and a tax credit for low-wage earners."

The Record, June 24, 2012: Residents face unexpected need in communities across North Jersey

"When her jobless benefits run out for good at the end of this month, she’ll lose nearly two-thirds of her income. That will pretty much land her at the official federal poverty level of $11,170 for a single person — an amount that experts agree greatly underestimates the cost of living in a place like North Jersey."

Ventura County Star, June 8, 2012: More without homes locally; Figures make conclusions hard to reach

"A total of 1,936 homeless people were found in Ventura County during a one-day count in January, according to a report released Thursday."

Corpus Daily Camera, June 2, 2012: Bridge House's Ready to Work program lands contract with Boulder

"A six-month pilot program to help local homeless men and women get back to work has been so successful that the city of Boulder has decided to contract with the program, guaranteeing more work for program participants through the end of the year and, likely, through 2013."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 22, 2012: (Editorial) Increasing poverty demands action

“An alarming new study shows more New Jersey residents than ever are struggling to provide for their families. A record 885,000 people in the state lived below the poverty line in 2010, according to the study released Sunday by the Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 20, 2012: A South Jersey foreclosure counseling agency reluctantly closes shop

"While some might misinterpret the word counseling as hand-holding for people who ought to help themselves, foreclosure prevention is a rigorous process that requires clients to get their financial affairs in order before it’s too late. The goal is to meet, not evade, responsibilities, and to prevent homelessness and the ripple effects of vacant houses."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 20, 2012: Poverty numbers are grim in N.J.

"More New Jersey residents lived in poverty in 2010 than ever before, according to a report released Sunday."

Herald News, May 8, 2012: Proposal to encourage construction of affordable housing in towns with top schools is backed by Gov. Christie

"The agency did not release the language of the proposal, but said it would cap the cost of projects eligible for the credit, and limit construction of affordable housing in high poverty areas. It would also reward developers for building houses or apartments for families who are now homeless. "

Ventura County Star, May 7, 2012: Ventura's Gateway homeless model takes new shape

"At the center of a proposal to get homeless people off the streets and into treatment, better jobs and a place of their own, there was a building. It was called the Gateway, and in spring 2009, a coalition of social service providers, advocates and community volunteers presented its vision for what would be inside."

Courier-Post, May 3, 2012: Clinic for homeless to get $4.7M grant

"A clinic that serves South Jersey's homeless population is to receive $4.7 million in federal funds. Project H.O.P.E. will use the money to replace its community health center in the 400 block of Clinton Street with a larger building, the nonprofit said."

Asbury Park Press, May 2, 2012: Social justice demands helping Lakewood students

"Cummings has had a passion for helping the homeless veterans population for years. In fact, she wrote a graduate paper on homeless veterans during college at Siena Heights. She graduated in 2008 with a master's degree in organizational leadership."

Herald News, April 29, 2012: Road Warrior: Unlikely headache shuts rail station: lice

"Infestations of lice, the tiny, wingless parasites that cling to hair and make scalps itch, are a common malady that besets homeless indigents who frequent train stations. But the April 15 cleanup was unusual, insisted the station's cleaning contractor."

Herald News, April 24, 2012: More N.J. children living in low-income households, survey finds

"Nearly one in three children in New Jersey lived in low-income households in 2010 that increasingly depended upon food stamps and school meal programs to get by, according to the latest report card on child health, wealth and well-being. "

The Star-Ledger, April 19, 2012: Gov. Christie visits Ewing shelter, announces new council aimed to end homelessness

"Gov. Chris Christie yesterday visited HomeFront homeless shelter in Ewing to announce the creation of a council that will develop a 10-year plan aimed at ending homelessness."

Asbury Park Press, April 18, 2012: Don't cut tuition aid, students tell Congress

"Two-thirds of Rutgers students rely on subsidized federal loans to attend college. One-third - 16,000 students - rely on Pell Grants designed to help low-income students. 'Congress is facing a lot of tough choices in the economy, but we want to at least maintain the current level of federal support,' said Rutgers student Emi Morse of Sea Bright."

Asbury Park Press, April 18, 2012: (Op-Ed) Married with kids further from norm

"Study after study has shown that children raised by single mothers face increased risks of emotional, behavioral, academic and social problems. And while there is less data, a study last year showed the children of cohabiting parents are at risk for a broad range of problems, from trouble in school to psychological stress, physical abuse and poverty."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 15, 2012: Rental rules in N.J. raise concerns; Critics say suburban towns are trying to keep the poor out. Defenders say they target crime and crowding.

"'He was just crashing for a couple of days,' McMichael said. 'What I couldn't understand was how they know who is on my lease.' More than 35 years ago the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Mount Laurel case that suburbs couldn't use zoning laws to keep out minority or low-income people. "

The News-Press, April 13, 2012: Bonita homeless shelter debate heats up

"Anyone who wants to weigh in on how a homeless shelter should be operated in Bonita Springs will have the opportunity at public workshops that will be scheduled soon. Bonita's Local Planning Agency asked city staff Thursday to bring back a framework for a homeless shelter ordinance and schedule workshops. Opponents and supporters of the shelter again sparred over the issue at the meeting."

Star-Ledger, April 12, 2012: In wake of No Child Left Behind Act, worst N.J. schools receive stern message

"The state Department of Education put New Jersey’s most troubled schools on notice Wednesday, ordering administrators and educators to cooperate with state intervention and improve student performance or face serious consequences."

The Daily Journal, April 12, 2012: Agriculture chief visits local food bank

"State Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher rolled his sleeves up to his elbows as he prepared to serve Southern fried chicken, corn and mashed potatoes to the city's homeless at the Southern Regional Food Distribution Center."

The News-Press, April 12, 2012: Debate begins over Bonita homeless shelter

"Bonita resident Konrad Schultz, who founded Concerned Citizens of Bonita a year ago when St. Matthew's was considering another site, has researched the homeless shelter ordinances of other cities, finding ones that have one bed per 1,000 residents."

Home News Tribune, April 4, 2012: Center for Great Expectations of Somerset empowers lives of women touched by tragedy, adversity

"It was less than 15 years ago that Wright, the CEO and founder of The Center for Great Expectations in the Somerset section of Franklin, spearheaded the state's only program that provides an unprecedented haven of healing to homeless, pregnant adolescents and their children, as well as homeless, pregnant adult women with substance-use disorder, and their children."

The State Journal, March 27, 2012: Poverty, low education attainment lead to teen pregnancy, study finds

"A report released last week by Auburn University shows that the high poverty levels and low educational attainment among women have a direct correlation to the region's high number of teen births."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 22, 2012: N.J. senators hear pleas for increased funding in Christie budget

"The governor's plan to give $25 million to Legal Services, which offers free counsel to the more than two million state residents with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, was a "critical first step," Poritz said."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 22, 2012: Policy change in New Jersey is resulting in fewer welfare recipients

"Those who work with the indigent say many desperate enough to apply for general assistance struggle with extreme poverty, mental disorders, addiction, criminal histories, and lack of transportation, which complicate their ability to meet the requirement. If they mess up, they have to begin again, which delays the chance of receiving aid by at least a month."

Herald News, March 14, 2012: Homeless in the Suburbs

"The retired ironworker, who turns 83 on Friday, has no permanent home. He sleeps in a smoke-drenched motel room in an industrial South Hackensack neighborhood that's often a last stop for people like him -- Bergen County's invisible homeless."

Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2012: (Opinion) How to Keep More Kids on the Streets; New Jersey is the latest state that may price teens and young adults out of the labor force. (Subscription Required)

"Economists have analyzed the minimum wage and its effect on employment more often than almost any other topic. And the result of all this study is clear: Raising the minimum wage hurts the very people—low-skilled workers—that champions of the raise intend to help, because it prices many such workers out of jobs."

Press of Atlantic City, March 11, 2012: Poorest schools would be hit hardest by proposed changes in state education funding

"Southern New Jersey towns with the highest unemployment and poverty in the state will also be among the hardest hit by school-funding reforms proposed by the state Department of Education and Gov. Chris Christie."

Daily Record, March 11, 2012: Lowe's workshops prepare women Habitat volunteers

"'More than 12 million children - one out of every six - live in poverty in the United States alone,' said the Rev. Jeremy Montgomery, executive director of Plainfield Habitat. 'This Women Build, our very first one, is literally putting the tools into women's hands that enable us to move families out of poverty one house at a time.'"

Newsday, March 8, 2012: NJ lawmaker goes undercover to research shelter (Subscription Required)

"A New Jersey lawmaker who once served as the state's acting governor has gone undercover to research conditions at a Newark homeless shelter. State Sen. Richard Codey, who has worked for years to improve conditions at shelters, boarding homes and mental health facilities across the state, recently spent the night at the Goodwill Mission in Newark"

The Star-Ledger, March 6, 2012: Task force targets N.J. school lunch fraud, aid formula

"Citing high levels of fraud and abuse in the school lunch program, Gov. Chris Christie yesterday launched a task force to examine how school aid is distributed in New Jersey."

Jersey Journal, February 27, 2012: Feds give $1 million to expand Head Start

"The Jersey City Housing Authority has been granted nearly $1 million in federal funds to construct a new Head Start facility, the state's two U.S. senators announced Thursday. The city agency will use the funds to expand an existing community center at the Marion Gardens public-housing complex to accommodate Head Start, a federally funded early-education program for low-income families."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 24, 2012: N.J. Assembly panel backs higher minimum wage

"After hearing tales of hardship from low-wage workers and struggling businesses Thursday, a panel of New Jersey lawmakers decided it was time to give a boost to those who earn the minimum wage. The Assembly Labor Committee voted, 6-2, to approve a bill that would raise the minimum hourly wage to $8.50, a $1.25 increase that would give New Jersey one of the highest rates in the nation. The bill would peg the wage to inflation, allowing future increases to occur automatically. "

Daily Record, February 24, 2012: State aid to Morris schools increases

"Under a new school funding formula adopted in 2008 under Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, districts received more money if they had low-income or disabled students, or students with limited English speaking abilities, for example."

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, February 24, 2012: Foundation hosts vision clinics in Montclair for low-income children

"Hope Through Housing Foundation, a nonprofit that provides low-income children after school programs, hosted two vision clinics at its program site in Montclair. At the vision clinics 59 children from low-income families were given a compete eye health and vision screening by Dr. Kristy Remick and optometry students from Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry in Pomona."

Asbury Park Press, February 12, 2012: (Op-Ed) South Jersey power broker stepping out from shadows

"Cooper transferred the deeds on eight historic but dilapidated brick row houses to the St. Joseph's Carpenter's Society, a 20-year-old nonprofit that rehabilitates houses to sell to low-income residents. St. Joseph's and three other affordable-housing developers have built or rehabbed another 52 row houses in what is known as the Cooper Lanning section just south of the hospital."

USA Today, February 9, 2012: Obama lets 10 states escape 'No Child' rules

While many educators and many governors celebrated, congressional Republicans accused Obama of executive overreach, and education and civil-rights groups questioned if schools would be getting a pass on aggressively helping poor and minority children -- the kids the 2002 law was primarily designed to help."

The News Tribune, February 9, 2012: This is the world of the homeless: Invisible, out of options, out of hope

"The shelter I was assigned to, run by the Downtown Emergency Services Center, sleeps 200; men and women have separate dorms. The beds are barracks-style, with a top and bottom bunk. Seventy to 80 percent of the clients there suffer from some form of mental illness."

Jersey Journal, February 9, 2012: $3.3M in grants will help to build affordable housing

"A number of Hudson County housing projects have received a total of $3.3 million in grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, with $1 million alone going to help convert a vacant Jersey City building into 67 units of housing for low-income seniors."

Courier-Post, February 6, 2012: Camden shifting stance on homeless

"Redd adopted the plan because she feels surrounding towns and counties are dumping their problems on the city. Adding more homeless and social service agencies are contributing to the daunting task of rehabilitating the city, Redd believes. Her plan to impose limits has begun."

Tri-City Herald, February 6, 2012: Benton County to award about $1.2M for low-income projects

"The money can be used for buying and remodeling low-income housing, housing programs' operation and maintenance, rental assistance vouchers and emergency shelter, said Ed Thornbrugh, bicounty Department of Human Services administrator."

Press of Atlantic City, February 2, 2012: Students' test scores divided by socio-economic gap in New Jersey

"That so-called achievement gap between more-affluent students and their low-income and minority counterparts is at the heart of state efforts to improve academic performance, acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf said Wednesday."

Asbury Park Press, February 1, 2012: Housing for homeless vets planned in N.J.

"The administration wants all homeless vets - there were about 67,000 on any given night in 2011 - to get mental-health treatment and move into permanent housing. In what the administration calls an unprecedented effort, the Housing, Veterans Affairs and Labor departments and a network of federally funded community service agencies have been working together since 2010 with a focus rarely seen in the past, advocates say."

Jersey Journal, January 30, 2012: Volunteers carry out 'Point-in-Time' homeless count in Hudson County

“The annual count is required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and helps the federal and state governments determine how to allocate funding for housing, substance abuse and mental health programs, organizers of the count said.”

Press of Atlantic City, January 29, 2012: South Jersey volunteers get ready to help elderly, low-income residents prepare income tax returns

"The need is great in this region, which has a high proportion of elderly and low-income residents who can't afford to pay a tax preparer or who may risk missing refunds doing taxes themselves, said Linda Ranagan, site coordinator for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program through the United Way of Cumberland County"

Press of Atlantic City, January 29, 2012: Some New Jersey schools remain segregated due to socioeconomic factors

"According to the New Jersey Education Law Center, low-income students make up 70 percent of students in the former Abbott districts, but only 27 percent of enrollment statewide. The state's 31 poorest districts -- the so-called Abbotts, which receive additional state aid as a result of a series of New Jersey Supreme Court rulings starting in 1985 -- also serve more than half of the state's black and Hispanic students."

Asbury Park Press, January 26, 2012: Monmouth homeless survey records greater numbers

"Mild temperatures and the promise of free breakfast, clothing and medical checkups may have helped bump up the numbers for this year's annual surveys to count the Shore area's homeless and potentially homeless population."

Jersey Journal, January 26, 2012: Bayonne faces reduced CDBG funding

"Other CDBG funding, which is dispersed locally through the city's Community Development Office, is used to help create and sustain low-income and moderate-income housing, city officials said. Bayonne received $1.7 million in 2011, and now expects to receive $1.4 million this year."

The New York Times, January 23, 2012: (Blog) The Best States to Grow Up In

"The Foundation for Child Development’s new report on state-level differences in the Index of Child Well-Being – a broad quality-of-life indicator based on 25 indicators – shows enormous variation, as does another set of indicators known as Kids Count, developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation."

Asbury Park Press, January 22, 2012: N.J. getting $136.8M in federal heating assistance

"Uncle Sam is sending New Jersey nearly $136.8 million to help low-income residents keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The administration of President Barack Obama said last week it is releasing $34.2 million under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for New Jersey now that Obama has signed a delayed spending bill into law."

Courier News, January 22, 2012: New Jersey homeless census seeks to count, aid the growing number of people in need

"Mike Wood, who has spent the last seven years of his life out of doors, showed no interest in traveling away from his encampment off Route 9 in Howell so he can be counted as a homeless man."

Herald News, January 23, 2012: Wayne pastor’s mission leads him to join Paterson’s homeless

"The dozen homeless men made their way through the city's downtown to their camp -- a cold, dark mass of blankets, tarps and trash under a Route 80 overpass. But among them this time was the Rev. Thomas Keinath, pastor of the Calvary Temple International Assembly in Wayne. He was there to learn about the homeless individuals who live in the city -- to know their hardships, to build trust and to improve his church's aid efforts."

Daily Record, January 22, 2012: Morris workers to seek out homeless Wednesday

"Social service workers led by the Mental Health Association of Morris County will scour soup kitchens, abandoned buildings, wooded areas, bridges, and locations where the homeless shelter on Wednesday as part of a effort to survey the homeless and provide food, clothes and services."

Asbury Park Press, January 19, 2012: GOP race fosters dialogue on economic fairness

"But to the horror of radical free-market ideologues, the myth of no-fault capitalism is under scrutiny. No one is arguing against markets, which are indeed the best way to create wealth and thus the best weapon against poverty."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 17, 2012: In New Jersey, nonprofit at center of education conflict

"It's like hiring the fox to guard the henhouse," said David Sciarra, executive director of the Education Law Center in Newark, which litigates on behalf of low-income schoolchildren. "What [New Jersey] seems to be doing is bringing foundations and other organizations that support their particular education reform agenda. I've never seen anything like this before."

Jersey Journal, January 16, 2012: Homeless told: Don't try to 'tough it' in this cold!

"In reaction to temperatures plunging into the mid-teens, Hudson County Office of Emergency Management yesterday declared a cold weather emergency and opened a shelter in Union City to take in homeless people who couldn't get into the county's two main shelters."

Courier-Post, January 15, 2012: Homeless mission raises concerns

"But to some in the Fairview community, where the church is located at 2755 Tuckahoe Road, the decision to care for the homeless in a residential neighborhood without a large homeless problem, no social services and limited public transportation, is creating - not fixing - a problem."

The Star-Ledger, January 10, 2012: The fight to prevent homelessness continues

"As a result, we saw a dramatic spike in the number of homeless men, women and families. Today, we are emerging from a more severe recession and, once again, local governments face hard fiscal times."

The Star-Ledger, January 10, 2012: Democrat plan seeks minimum wage hike; State rate would be among the highest

"Deborah Howlett, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal think tank, said raising the minimum wage would help thousands of low-wage workers and boost the state's sluggish economy."

The Associated Press, January 1, 2012: One in a periodic series on efforts to remake New Jersey's education system

"The alternative is if you can actually break up concentrated poverty and have kids more integrated and better mixed across settings, you can reduce the costs of getting to the same outcomes. But typically what you find in the political dynamic is that people are much more willing to pay the price of extreme segregation than to actually move forward on desegregation."

The Associated Press, January 1, 2012: Camp Hope continues as Las Cruces aids homeless

"Since November, about three dozen homeless men and women have been living in a largely self-governed tent village on Las Cruces municipal property. The circle of tents with some sitting on wooden pallets is on a quarter-acre city lot next to a cluster of social service agencies that provide services to homeless people and others in need."

The Daily Journal, Jan. 1, 2012: (Op-Ed) Poverty the problem, not our teachers

"Urban youths from troubled, broken families with poor nutrition and little if any parental support walk through school doors every day at a distinct disadvantage compared to most suburban students."

Courier News, December 24, 2011: N.J. Gov. Christie announces $3.83 million in funding for homeless shelters, transitional housing

"The grants will aid nonprofit and local government agencies operating emergency homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities while assisting approximately 3,000 New Jersey households over the next year."

Asbury Park Press, December 21, 2011: Lakewood HS, with failing graduation rate, tries to improve student performance

"Some officials question the validity of the graduation rate, though few people dispute the school district is wrestling with some serious issues. Problems plaguing Lakewood's schools were highlighted in a needs assessment study completed by state education officials in 2008."

Herald News, December 17, 2011: N.J. loses out on $500 million federal early-education grant

"New Jersey applied for $60 million through the U.S. Education Department's Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge. The state planned to use Consumer Reports-style ratings of early-childhood centers to increase family access to information, enhance teaching and strengthen programs for 75,000 low-income children."

San Francisco Chronicle, December 15, 2011: New Jersey's Richest County Leads Rise in Food Stamp Recipients

"New Jersey's Hunterdon County, the hilly region of horse farms and weekend retreats where last year's median household income was almost $100,000, is a surprising new face of federal food aid."

My Journal Courier, December 3, 2011: Census numbers shed light on poverty in schools

"The newest U.S. Census Bureau numbers looking at poverty in school districts in 2010 show an increase in some districts and a decreased or homogenous rate in others since 2009."

Asbury Park Press, November 25, 2011: Automatic cuts could hurt N.J. for years

"The cuts will total about $1 trillion between 2013 and 2021, combined with $169 billion in lower borrowing costs. Half the cuts will come from defense programs and half will come from nondefense programs."

Wyckoff Patch, November 17, 2011: County Poverty Rate Rose 69 Percent over 20 Years

"Along with other suburban communities throughout the United States, Bergen County, New Jersey is scrambling to address a dramatic increase in poor and homeless families, according to “New Jersey Faces New Poverty: Rising Family Homelessness in Bergen County,” a report (attached) released by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessnes"

Asbury Park Press, November 17, 2011: Time to tackle homelessness

"On Tuesday night, about 200 people gathered in Lakewood town square after they walked with lanterns for a mile from Tent City to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless and call on officials once again to provide them a shelter in Ocean County."

Courier-Post, November 9, 2011: Recipe for healthy kids; soup maker fights obesity

"Poverty and food insecurity - which is what workers in the hunger field call households that don't know where their next meal is coming from or if there will be a meal - is well documented in Camden, one of the nation's poorest cities. More than 40 percent of Camden children are obese, at least eight percent above the national average."

The New York Times, November 2, 2011: Putting Zuckerberg's Millions to Work for Schools

"Newark has long been on the unhappy end of many socioeconomic indexes, particularly those concerning youth. Thirty-five percent of its children live below the poverty line, more than three times the state average; 18 percent of them live in families where neither parent has a job; 71 percent are on Medicaid or the state equivalent (15 percent have no health coverage at all)."

Courier-Post, October 26, 2011: After-school funding cut forces Camden program to close

"A program that at one time kept as many as 15,000 mostly low-income children busy after school has fallen victim to state budget cuts and the bad economy."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 26, 2011: Five N.J. food banks share $147,000 in federal funding

"The funding became available through the DCA Division of Housing and Community Resources' administration of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), a federal antipoverty block grant. The amount provided to each county depends on its poverty-level designation."

Home News Tribune, October 23, 2011: Battling hunger a box at a time

"Feed the Children also sponsors a program in which backpacks are filled with children's books, school supplies, food and other personal-care necessities, then distributed to homeless children throughout the country."

Home News Tribune, October 22, 2011: Poverty is relative, wealth is absolute

"Shock headlines greeted the release of new federal government statistics on poverty, fueling a vitriolic debate about wealth and poverty in America. Ancient rhetoric is resurrected every election cycle to confuse the issue and further divide the populace."

Asbury Park Press, October 21, 2011: Real solutions to problems put Middletown on right track

"We must continue the fight alongside Gov. Christie to secure additional reforms to foolish Civil Service laws and low-income housing quotas that will help lower our unsustainable property tax burden in the future"

Courier News, October 19, 2011: Franklin Township Housing Authority celebrates grand opening of senior citizen component of Parkside Village

"Seventeen of the units were set aside for public-housing tenants and applicants, and 43 are low-income-housing tax credit units. 'I'm very happy here. I was living with my son before and that was fine, but this is my own space,' said Florine Magee, a resident in the senior-citizen building..."

Herald News, October 19, 2011: Early childhood center rating system is part of fed grant proposal

"New Jersey's plan aims to improve programs for 75,000 low-income children who live outside the 31 cities, once known as Abbott districts, which have been under court order to provide free preschool to 3- and 4-year-olds."

Asbury Park Press, October 18, 2011: Cuts leave poor with less access to the courts

"By next June there likely will be 220 staff attorneys available to give free help to qualifying low-income New Jerseyans with civil cases, which include tenancy disputes, family and debt issues, and benefits such as disability."

Asbury Park Press, October 13, 2011: A loss leads to a quest to help a country overcome poverty

"The couple runs a charity called ,b>ChangeALife Uganda. Since its founding in 2007, it has grown from a trickle of aid to a handful of needy children in that impoverished East African nation to a multifaceted nongovernmental organization that raised $238,000 last year."

The Star-Ledger, September 30, 2011: (Op-Ed) What to do with No Child Left Behind? Mend it, not end it

"In return for a substantial hike in funds to help schools serve low-income students, states must measure how all their schools are doing, based on the state's education standards."

The Record, September 22, 2011: Incomes fall for New Jersey Families

"The state's poverty rate rose from 9.4 percent to 10.3 percent in 2010, the census also showed. Although that's still lower than the national rate of 15.1 percent, it means that 880,000 people lived in poverty last year in the nation's second-wealthiest state."

Courier News, September 22, 2011: Median incomes dip with recession

"The U.S. Census Bureau released figures Thursday that mirrored the national economic picture revealed last week: falling median incomes and rising poverty that economists say are tied to the poor job market."

Asbury Park Press, September 2, 2011: (Op-Ed) Tale of two New Jerseys: one rich, the other poor

"The first, headlined 'Some choose to remain in Tent City,' reported that many of the homeless people who live in the woods off Cedar Bridge Avenue in Lakewood would prefer to stay by their tents during the hurricane rather than take the chance of losing what little they had."

Asbury Park Press, September 1, 2011: Messages on plates tell of hunger's impact

"Neptune Township Mayor Kevin McMillan said the recent hurricane evacuations brought home the vulnerability of those who are homeless and hungry. Both McMillan and state Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher read official proclamations declaring September Hunger Action Month."

The Associated Press, September 1, 2011: How much soda do you drink? CDC says likely too much

"Poor people drink more than the affluent. Low-income adults got about 9 percent of their daily calories from sugary beverages; for high-income adults it was just over 4 percent. Blacks get more of their calories from sweetened beverages than other racial and ethnic groups."

Daily Record, August 31, 2011: Fewer students get free rides to school

"Mount Olive required parents to pay $200 per student and had signed up two out of every three eligible students, including some from low-income families whose fees were covered by the district, when classes resumed in 2010. Parsippany also cut courtesy busing for elementary school students in 2010."

Gloucester County Times, August 8, 2011: 'Food deserts' plague New Jersey, finds federal study

"They are mostly low-income pockets of big cities, sprawling suburbs and small towns that lack easy access to a supermarket but are usually brimming with expensive convenience stores and fast food restaurants."