New Jersey's COVID-19 crisis has had tremendous, negative economic effects on so many in our community. To compound the situation, these effects heavily reinforce the inequities that already exist in our communities - inequities many of our students are already overly familiar with.
Here are five resources that can help students deal with financial challenges in these difficult times:
NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development Worker Benefits
Not only does this pandemic threaten our health and the health of our loved ones, it also disrupts many of the finely balanced plans that allow our work lives to coexist with our family lives. Fortunately, the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development recognizes this and has created a single-page chart that clearly outlines under what conditions worker benefits are available during the COVID-19 disruption. The chart is also available in Spanish.
NJ Department of Community Affairs Short-Term Rental Assistance Program
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is launching the COVID-19 Short Term Rental Assistance Program which will provide temporary rental assistance to low- and moderate- income households that have had a substantial reduction in income or have become unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will offer an initial three months of temporary rental assistance, with the option for renewal for an additional three months if needed. Approximately 20 percent of the rental assistance funds will be reserved for homeless families impacted by COVID-19. Further information on how to apply and Frequently Asked Questions, will be available on June 15th.
Worker Benefits, Protections and the Coronavirus
The pandemic has pushed New Jersey's unemployment claims to record highs. In response, the Department of Labor has constructed a web-page devoted to addressing the needs of those whose employment has been negatively affected by COVID-19. The site outlines many of the complicated situations a worker may find him or herself in, and lays out the worker's rights and options. Resources are available in a wide selection of languages.
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey
Hunger is much more common in New Jersey than any of us would like to admit. Almost 900,000 New Jersey residents are challenged by food issues and over 260,000 of them are children. The Community FoodBank of New Jersey is the state's largest anti-hunger organization working with volunteers and partners to assist those in need. Information on how to access the assistance they provide can be found on their website.
NJ Division of Family Development SNAP and WFNJ Updates
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, New Jersey has suspended many of the hurdles that might inhibit residents who participate in the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) from getting all of the assistance they need. The DFD has provided updates to these programs in a clear and conveniently accessed web-page. By using the drop down menu on the page's banner, interested individuals can access the information in their own language.
We hope you will find these resources helpful.