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NJ SHARES and Volunteers of America Delaware Valley Unveil New Program Providing Rent and Mortgage Assistance to Camden County Residents In Need

Camden, N.J. – Volunteers of America Delaware Valley (VOADV) and New Jersey SHARES Inc. (NJ SHARES) are partnering to offer a new assistance program for Camden County residents in need. The SHARES Mortgage Assistance Rent or Taxes (SMART) Program provides critical funding for rent or mortgage assistance to individuals that are currently facing eviction or foreclosure.

“Our SMART Program is designed to assist households on the brink of an emergency situation, where foreclosure and eviction are eminent,” explained Cheryl Stowell, CEO of NJ SHARES “As New Jersey begins the process of re-opening from the COVID-19 shut down, this type of assistance will be even more critical and needed. Our partnership with VOADV will enable us to get funding into the hands of those who need it most throughout the Camden County region.”

The SMART Program is designed to assist low-to-moderate income households in New Jersey with a combined total monthly income between 135% and 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. Eligible households may then receive a one-time grant up to $1,500, to aide with a mortgage or rent payment.

To be eligible for the SMART Program, individuals must be Camden County residents and meet the following pre-qualifications:

• Have a back-owed rent or mortgage that puts the household in danger of eviction or foreclosure

• Be experiencing a financial crisis, defined as a period of intense financial difficulty which the household did not create and which the household lacks the current means to overcome

• Be able to demonstrate the ability to make on-time payments in the future

• Have a total gross monthly income level that does not exceed 300 percent of the current Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

• Complete and submit an application, as well as all necessary supporting documentation

VOADV’s Navigational Resource Centers will serve as the SMART program’s only referral source in Camden County, pre-qualifying households and assisting them with the grant application process. Located at 1812 Federal Street in Camden and at the Pine Hill Police Department (48 W 6th Avenue in Pine Hill), the centers provide outreach, rapid response and homeless navigation services to our communities most vulnerable, at-risk individuals, including those experiencing homelessness, and offer a spectrum of services, such as treatment, housing, employment, education and legal services.

“Streamlined service delivery and personalized assistance is the heart of the work we do at VOADV,” explains Daniel L. Lombardo, President and CEO of VOADV. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertain, serious economic hardships for many households. The SMART Program is just another example of how both our organizations can collaboratively work to meet the needs of struggling families and individuals – providing critical assistance for those facing potential homelessness and setting them back on a path towards independent, self-sufficient living.”

Individual grant amounts for the SMART Program are determined by NJ SHARES based on each qualifying household’s income and available resources, and is subject to certain limitations. All SMART funds are paid directly to the landlord, court or lien holder once an application for a SMART grant has been approved.

“The overall goal of the SMART Program is to help people through times of crisis and steer them back on the path towards self-sustained living,” continued Stowell. “We are confident that this creative partnership with VOADV will allow NJ SHARES to reach and assist even more people in need.”

For more information or to apply for the SMART Program, please call (866) 657-4273 or e-mail njsmart@njshares.org.

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About New Jersey SHARES, Inc. (NJ SHARES)

NJ SHARES is a nationally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides statewide help and referral for essential services to those in need of assistance. NJ SHARES serves as a “safety net” for households that face an emergency or crisis situation resulting in the household’s inability to pay for vital services, including but not limited to energy (gas, electric), water, communications and other environmental resources. NJ SHARES partners with more than 300 social service agencies and legislative offices, operating out of more than 325 sites statewide to provide relief to individuals and families in need of assistance. To learn more, visit: www.njshares.org.

About Volunteers of America Delaware Valley (VOADV)

VOADV is a local affiliate of national, non-profit organization, Volunteers of America, and provides essential services to our community’s most vulnerable individuals. Each year, VOADV serves more than 13,000 individuals throughout the southern New Jersey and Philadelphia region and operates more than 40 high quality, outcome-driven assistance programs – from homelessness, reentry, veterans assistance and affordable housing services to specialized programs for individuals with addiction, traumatic brain injury and/or intellectual disabilities. To learn more, visit: www.voadv.org.