NJ 211 Newsletter - September 2020
Do your Part to be Counted
With just a few weeks left for people to complete their census forms, we are urging all who have not yet filled out their form, to do so now. When we don’t count each and every person, we lose representation in Congress and it impacts, for the next ten years, the federal funds in NJ for vital programs and services ending homelessness, providing utility assistance, SNAP benefits and healthcare for you and your family. Get the facts - about census takers, why seasonal homes are included and more...on our census page: Be Counted Because You Count!
Tenant/Landlord Meetings Offer Help
With a moratorium on evictions and so many unemployed due to the pandemic, housing issues are top of mind for many New Jerseyans. In an effort to help tenants and landlords understand the law and also educate them about local resources that might assist, county courts have been holding virtual information sessions. NJ 211 was asked to speak at sessions held in the counties of Mercer, Essex and Burlington.
Sessions started with a review of the Governor’s Executive Order 106 which protects renters from eviction until two months after the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency or State of Emergency unless the Governor ends it sooner. Legal representatives made it clear that tenants were expected to pay their rent if they were able to do so. They strongly advised tenants to pay what they could, even if they couldn’t pay the full amount. Once the courts open up again, they reasoned, those tenants who have made good faith payments have a better chance of staying in their homes. They also encouraged participants to seek legal advice now if they needed that kind of help. Representatives from the Community Health Law Project, NJ Volunteer Lawyers and Legal Services of NJ were on hand during several sessions to explain the services they provide on a free or sliding fee scale to those who are eligible.
NJ 211 was pleased to have the opportunity to introduce our information and referral services – built to connect people in need with the existing community programs and services that can help. So many people who have never needed this kind of assistance before, don’t know where to turn,” Melissa Acree, NJ 211’s executive director, explains. “This was a wonderful opportunity to reach them at a time when they need it most.” Our presentation introduced viewers to our website where they could find out about screening tools like NJHelps and DCAid as well as utility assistance programs that may help. Our database of over 10,000 programs and services is available on our website as well. Do you (or does someone you know) need help with basic needs like food, healthcare, utility bills, housing, etc.? Live assistance is available around the clock. Contact us by phone by dialing 2-1-1; text your zip code to 898-211; or chat with us online.
Many Ways to Cast your Ballot
In the beginning of October, all active registered New Jersey voters will automatically receive a prepaid, return postage, vote-by-mail ballot from their county clerks. This mailing is the official ballot that you can use to cast your vote. Unlike in past years, there will be NO sample ballot. Find out about how you can cast your vote this November.