State Rental Assistance Enrollment Begins March 6

Pre-applications for low income elderly, disabled and families will be available online starting Monday, March 6 under the State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP), according to a press release and public notice issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

The application process will be conducted online only beginning Monday, March 6, 2017 at 10am and continuing to Friday, March 10 at 5pm.

If selected, applicants must meet the income limits of the county where they are being subsidized and provide proof of residency. Income limits are county-specific, based on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines of 30% – 40% area median income.

Applications will be open in three categories:

  • Elderly – the head of household must be 62 years of age or over
  • Family – the head of household is at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor; with or without children
  • Disabled – the head of household or spouse is permanently disabled

The online pre-applications will be entered into a database and applicants will be selected through a lottery process, all to be placed on a waiting list. Submission does not guarantee placement on a SRAP waiting list. No paper applications are available. Applicants are required to furnish an email address. Individuals selected by the lottery will be notified via email which may take several weeks.

The online application process begins Monday, March 6. Visit

More information is available from the Department of Community Affairs on the following web pages:
Public Notice (English)
Public Notice (Spanish)
Application FAQ (English)
Application FAQ (Spanish)
SRAP Statewide Waiting List Open Enrollment Website

Dear Senator Toomey

A dramatic speech was given this month by an advocate at a ‘Tuesdays with Toomey’ event in Philadelphia. Myra Young provides the human side to the story of why there are demonstrations all across the United States. There are millions of Myra Young’s in our country, all struggling to make ends meet, all wondering how they will put food on the table, all living paycheck to paycheck.

Take a few minutes to read and share the TalkPoverty Weekly article about her and listen to her speech at a recent #TuesdayswithToomey event.

The following is a version of Ms. Young’s remarks made on February 7, 2017. The comments should be intended to every United States Senator and Representative. Send a copy to your elected officials.

Dear Senator Toomey,

You don’t know me. You have never met me, or answered any of my calls. But you have power and influence over my life—and my children’s well-being—and that scares me.

So Senator Toomey, let me introduce myself: My name is Myra Young. I’m a mother, an advocate, and I live in poverty.

I work hard to take care of my family. For the last 22 years I worked as a certified nursing assistant, but I still lived in poverty and needed government assistance to put food on the table and to keep my kids healthy. Two months ago, the company I worked for closed and I was laid off. Now without my job, my struggle is even more difficult. I only receive $33 a month in food stamps—barely enough to get my family through one healthy meal. My kids need fruit and vegetables, but I simply cannot afford them.

Last week, my 10-year-old son asked, “Mom, why do you cry so much?”

I told him, “Because I want to take care of you and your sister, but it’s so hard.”

But why is it so hard, Senator?

It’s hard because wages are too low.
It’s hard because we have to beg for scraps when we need help.
And it’s hard because of politicians like you, Senator Toomey.

You have everything I want: a safe home to go to, a job that pays a good wage, and a family in good health. But you want to take away the little bit I have by
cutting programs that help me — and people like me — feed my family. That hurts us. That keeps us down. And that makes me angry.

You are wrong, Senator Toomey.
You are wrong if you don’t protect these programs.
You are wrong if you don’t care about my family.

Would you be able to survive one week in my shoes? Would you be able to manage the daily struggle of trying to feed your family? Manage the stress of not knowing if you will be able to pay rent for the month? Manage the fear that your child may need health care that you cannot afford?

If I were in your shoes, and had the power to help a mother with two disabled children, I would do it. I would make sure she has the services she needs to care for her family. I would take care of the more than 1.6 million people in Pennsylvania who live paycheck to paycheck.

Senator Toomey, as a member of Witness to Hunger, my sisters and I will continue to speak out and fight for the needs of our children, families, and communities.

It’s your responsibility to do the same.

Today Is National 2-1-1 Day

With every passing year, new partnerships are made between NJ 2-1-1 and government and community organizations. These partnerships establish clear pathways for people to follow when help is needed. In celebration of national 2-1-1 Day, we celebrate how 2-1-1 makes help happen in New Jersey.

In 2016 NJ 2-1-1 connected 363,627 people with services they might otherwise have missed. NJ 2-1-1 community resource specialists answered 155,737 calls for assistance. Another 5,835 calls were forwarded directly to state hotlines. Our website received 202,055 visitors.

Our partnerships with United Ways across New Jersey, as well as state and local government help connect people in-need with existing services and programs. In 2016 our partnerships and special initiatives took us above and beyond traditional information and referral and enabled us to make help happen. See our Year in Review.

Since 2005 NJ 2-1-1 has been providing residents of our state with connections to essential resources that often move callers in crisis from despair to hope. “While many of the calls we receive come from families who are looking for solutions to the most basic of needs like utility assistance, food and affordable housing,” states NJ 2-1-1 board president Gina Plotino, “we answer calls for many
other things too, such as mental health counseling, childcare or transportation. Call 9-1-1 for emergencies. Call 2-1-1 for everything else.” With a resource database of nearly 3,000 agencies and more than 10,000 programs and services, NJ 2-1-1 is the easiest place to start to find a solution to any problem relating to health and human service needs.

Source: A February 10, 2017 email titled, “The Easiest Place to Start” from the Executive Director of the NJ 2-1-1 Partnership.