New Jersey resident Barbara O.’s story:
I’m a single mom. I work full time at night as a hospice nurse so I am home when my children need me. I never thought I would not have enough money to support my family. But when the rent increased on my two bedroom apartment in Mercer County, we were facing homelessness. I couldn’t afford the rent and juggle late fees on other bills. I was distraught. I didn’t want to fail my kids. I am so thankful that NJ SHARES was able to relieve the burden of my utility bill so that I could manage our expenses and my family could stay in our apartment.
Barbara truly exemplifies the struggle of working families throughout the state trying to take care of all of their responsibilities, but finding they need temporary financial aid to pay their utility bills. Barbara is one of more than 180,000 of our New Jersey neighbors who have been helped by NJ SHARES since it was established in 1998.
Funded by our utility partners and the generous donations from their customers, NJ SHARES provides grants to residential energy customers who are experiencing a financial crisis, have exhausted all other available sources of assistance and are behind on their utility bills but have demonstrated a good faith effort to pay them. The organization serves as a safety net for people who are not eligible for low income energy assistance programs. Grant amounts can be up to $700 for heating — gas or electric — and up to $500 for electric service.
Our work at NJ SHARES would not be possible without the help and support of utility partners like PSE&G. As a founding member of NJ SHARES, PSE&G’s dedication and ongoing commitment to providing assistance shows how big of a difference even one company, organization or person can make in the lives of so many.
When you make a donation at www.njshares.org, New Jersey’s participating utilities, including PSE&G, will match it dollar-for-dollar doubling your ability to help. As an added bonus, the money you donate stays in your service area, so you are helping a nearby neighbor in need.
While a grant from NJ SHARES isn’t an instant fix for someone who finds themselves in a dire situation, it can make the burden more manageable. If you are that neighbor in financial crisis who needs a helping hand, I encourage you to call or visit one of the more than 300 human service agency locations statewide to find out more information and to apply.
I hope you never experience financial hardship due to an unexpected illness, accident or job loss. But, you can find comfort in knowing that if you do, NJ SHARES is here to help you keep the lights and heat on while you get back on your feet.
Jim Jacob, Chief Executive Officer of NJ SHARES