Affordable Housing Alliance Designated as Monmouth County Community Action Partnership (CAP)
The Alliance was recently designated as the Monmouth County Community Action Partnership (CAP), by the Community Action Partnership, a national association based in Washington, D.C.
What is a Community Action Partnership (CAP)? CAPs are a primary source of support for the more than 34.5 million people who live in poverty in the United States. The majority of CAP program participants are extremely poor, with incomes below 75% of the federal poverty threshold, or $9,735 for a family of three (the average family size for the client population).
Here in Monmouth County, approximately seven percent of the population has been estimated to live below the poverty level, making the potential target population for the CAP services approximately 40,000 to 50,000 individuals. In a given year, roughly 36,000 people seek assistance in homeless prevention and related support services in Monmouth County.
As the Monmouth County CAP, AHA has identified three major needs it will address: emergency financial assistance, unemployment among young, minority males, and providing food for the very low income elderly and disabled population.
- Providing food: The CAP recognizes that food is the first resource that the low income elderly and the disabled often give up when the costs of housing and medication challenge their resources. Although Monmouth County is fortunate to have a network of food pantries served by the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean County, these populations do not always have easy access to these locations or resources. In order to ensure that the most vulnerable low income people have access to food, the Monmouth CAP will contract with other organizations to distribute $150,000 for meals in 2015.
- Homeless Prevention & Housing Assistance: The CAP will allocate approximately $145,000 to an emergency fund that can provide eligible applicants financial assistance for rental or mortgage arrears, security deposit assistance, real estate taxes, utility payments, or other expenses to help families during difficult financial times. The fund will be used as a one-time assistance to ensure families are able to maintain a secure independent living environment.
- Youth Workforce Development Program: This program will be implemented by the Monmouth CAP and is intended to provide job training and skill development for at risk youths with an income below 125% of the federal poverty level. The program provides internships for one year to young adults ages 18-27. The intent is to provide positive reinforcement to the participants who have gone through job training programs but are often unable to find unemployment at the end of the process.
Other organizations the CAP will be working with include: Social Community Activities Network (SCAN), Community Affairs & Resource Center, Mental Health Association of Monmouth County, Community YMCA, 180NJ, and HABcore, Inc. As the agency grows, AHA will partner with more organizations to achieve its goals