Camden County Reentry Awareness Simulation – June 4

Would you be able to “navigate the system” as an ex-offender just released from prison, trying to comply with court ordered obligations, while employment searching, securing housing and reestablishing your day-to-day life? On June 4th, from 10am to 12pm, there will be a Reentry Awareness Simulation held at Rutgers University, Camden Campus.

The event is sponsored by: Rutgers University Camden Campus, South Jersey Community Reentry Coalition, United States Attorney’s Office District of Delaware, Camden County ReEntry Committee, New Jersey Association on Correction and Camden County Women’s Center.

Please reference the event flyer for additional information. Registration is required as seating is limited. Click here to register.

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LIHEAP Deadline Extended to May 31

The following information was published by NJ 2-1-1 which operates the Home Energy Assistance Hotline. The hotline can be reached by calling 800-510-3102.

The deadline to apply for utility assistance through LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) has been extended to May 31. As the Home Energy Assistance Hotline for the State of New Jersey, NJ 2-1-1 is the place to call if you are struggling to pay your gas, oil or electric heating bills. This assistance is available to eligible residents regardless of whether they rent or own their home. Emergency assistance is also available through May 31 for those who have already been approved for LIHEAP benefits AND have received a shut-off notice.

Callers to NJ 2-1-1 can check on the status of their application, receive information on the location of their application agency and a list of documents that must be submitted with their application. Required documentation includes a copy of the rental lease/property tax bill (if you own your home); utility bill; proof of income for anyone in your home above the age of 18; social security card for everyone in the household and a drivers license or state issued picture ID.

Source: NJ 2-1-1 website and NJ 2-1-1 email.

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Resources For Parents

Looking for resources for a child or adolescent with behavioral or mental health challenges? There is a network of agencies and online resources in all twenty-one counties that offer a wide range of information about resources, services and support systems for families and children.

Each county has a Case Management Organization (CMO) in partnership with the New Jersey Children’s System of Care. Their goal is to help families or caregivers create a stable and healthy environment for children by address barriers, including behavioral health issues, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, etc.

Don’t know what resources are available to meet a child’s needs? In combination with each CMO there is an online ResourceNet. Families can find information on community services, health services or community events and organizations.

There are fifteen ResourceNets in the state of New Jersey. Read the brochure for links to them. They are: Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem (CGS), Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren (TriCounty) Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris Sussex, Ocean, Passaic, Union.

For assistance in finding help for your child, visit the NJ Children’s System of Care website or call 877-652-7624.

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The Monopoly Menace

The recent issue (Volume 306, Number 7, March 12, 2018) of The Nation contains an article, “The Monopoly Menace”. It is worth reading. Here is an excerpt:

“Today, a few corporations once again dominate sectors of our economy. In an interview with The Nation’s George Zornick, Senator Elizabeth Warren points out that two companies sell 70 percent of the beer in the country; four companies produce 85 percent of American beef; and four airlines account for 80 percent of domestic seats. With monopolies squeezing out the competition and underpaying workers, profits are funneled to a tiny elite. It’s no coincidence that the three richest American’s – Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett – are together worth slightly more than the bottom half of the entire US population.”

The first way to fight back is by becoming informed. That’s why I became a subscriber to The Nation last year. Another way is to buy local, craft beer and to buy local food. We do in our household.

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Cool Down for Warmth Event – Feb. 1&2

On February 1 & 2 there will be an event in Newark, New Jersey called “Cool Down for Warmth”. The purpose is to raise funds so families can stay warm this winter. My goal is to raise $1,000 for the cause.

A little history. In December, 1992 I wished there was a place to refer families to when no other energy assistance resources were available. Little did I know, it would lead to the creation of New Jersey SHARES, our statewide energy fund – which is now celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Today, I need your help to keep my dream alive and to help New Jersey families stay warm. On February 1 & 2 New Jersey SHARES will be holding “Cool Down for Warmth” to both raise funds and to make our mission better known in our state of New Jersey.

We’re building an Ice House – yes, an ICE HOUSE – in Newark to highlight the critical importance of heat during the cold winter months.

You can help by making a donation. Your donation makes a difference and may be eligible to be matched dollar for dollar by your utility company. So if you can give $50, it can have the impact of $100.

Donate now. Go to my Ice House Challenge fundraising page. If you want more information then read my personal story.

You can follow Cool Down for Warmth on the NJ SHARES website or on Twitter, #CoolDown4WarmthNJ or @njshares on Facebook.

Thanks for your help.

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Five Ways To Make A Difference In 2018

Last week I received an email from the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization I contributed to in 2016 following the presidential election. SPLC is a nationally recognized group that fights hate groups and bigotry. The email caught my attention since I’ve yet to make a New Year’s Resolution.

Their “five ways to make a difference” is not so much a personal promise you have to make to yourself but a pledge to remake our country, to take it back, all in a way that can work for you. I’ll be doing my best to follow their suggestions.

You can follow it by reading their article. It starts out with the following: “What will you do this year to be an engaged member of a democratic and tolerant community? Here are five items to add to your New Year’s resolution list.” 1)Pledge to start a conversation. 2) Pledge to be informed. 3) Pledge to stay engaged. 4) Pledge to make your voice heard. 5) Pledge to take real-world action.

I’m going to take a good look at the pledges suggested by Southern Poverty Law Center and see how I can incorporate them in my resolutions for 2018.

Btw, I continue to contribute to the Southern Poverty Law Center as long as we have a racist sleeping in the White House.

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Resistance, Part III

People of conscience change history. 2017 began as a movement of people fighting for Democracy all across our country. At first it was rallies and letter writing. It has since become more organized with amazing election results in Virginia and Alabama.

Earlier this year a list of Resistance and progressive groups were posted here and on my blog, titled Philadelphia Resistance and Progressive Groups and Resources For The Resistance. Today, a number of additional organizations and campaigns are highlighted. Working together we can make a difference.

Listed below are organizations worth joining or supporting. They are:

New Jersey groups that stepped up in 2017 include:

Below is a description of each group in their own words; and links to their social media sites.

ACLU of Pennsylvania. “The ACLU of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization dedicated to defending and expanding individual rights and personal freedoms.” Facebook Twitter

Citizens for Better Elections. “A nonpartisan Montgomery County, Pennsylvania group dedicated to promoting election security and efficiency in both our county and our state. Our mission is to ensure accurate, verifiable and secure elections.” Facebook Twitter

Committee of Seventy. “Learn how to run for committeeperson in May 2018. Nomination petitions are due March 6.” Facebook Twitter

Fair Districts PA. “Pennsylvania has some of the most unfair congressional districts in the country. Gerrymandered district lines weaken the power of our votes – and politicians are working behind closed doors to keep it that way. We all pay the price.” Facebook Twitter

Pennsylvania Together. “Pennsylvania Together is a statewide coalition of more than 100 grassroots resistance groups. Our members come together to build a better future for all, especially those who face oppression on a daily basis and now have reason to fear that it will be state sanctioned. Together, we resist racism, misogyny and fascism; advocate for policy change; increase civic engagement; reduce voter registration and turnout gaps; and demand accountability from our elected leaders to put people and planet first.” Facebook Twitter

Philadelphia 3.0. “Our mission is to bring new voices into the city’s political discussions. We want to support leaders in their efforts to make smarter and better policy.” Facebook Twitter

POWER. “Through the discipline of relationship building and the empowerment of everyday people, we hope to make lasting racial and economic policy change that benefits all.” Facebook Twitter

Sara Johnson Rothman for State Representative (151st District). “A former prosecutor, a school board member, and a mom.” Facebook Twitter

Swing Left. “It starts with the House. Don’t despair. Mobilize.” Facebook Twitter

Turn PA Blue. “Turn PA Blue is changing the political landscape in PA by bringing volunteers together to work outside the gerrymandered boundaries that divide us.” Facebook Twitter

Blue Jersey. “The voice of Progressive New Jersey since 2005.” Facebook Twitter

Mikie Sherrill for Congress (11th Congressional District). “Naval Academy graduate, Navy pilot, former federal prosecutor and mother of four – Mikie Sherrill is running to represent New Jersey’s 11th District in Congress to fight back against Donald Trump and to fight for our future.” Facebook Twitter

New Jersey Citizen Action. “NJ Citizen Action is New Jersey’s largest progressive citizen watchdog coalition.” Facebook Twitter

New Jersey Working Families Alliance. “New Jersey Working Families Alliance is a grassroots independent political organization fighting for a government that represents the needs and values of working families.” Facebook Twitter

NJ 11th For Change. “1643 days since Rep. Frelinghuysen’s last town hall.” Facebook

STAND Central New Jersey. “Join the fight for social justice, economic opportunity and basic human rights.” Facebook Twitter

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