“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.’”
“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 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.”
“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 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 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.’”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Some Cumberland County residents affected by Hurricane Sandy will be eligible to apply for emergency food stamps starting next week.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“‘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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“[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.”
“‘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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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 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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
“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.”
"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."
"More New Jersey residents lived in poverty in 2010 than ever before, according to a report released Sunday."
"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. "
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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. "
"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."
"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."
"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."
"'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. "
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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 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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"'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.'"
"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"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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. "
"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."
"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."
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 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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
“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.”
"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"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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 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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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"
"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."
"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."
"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)."
"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 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."
"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."
"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."
"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"
"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..."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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 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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."