Christie Administration Announces Expansion Of Displaced Homemaker Programs In Superstorm Sandy-Impacted Counties

$480,000 In Federal Funds Will Assist Women Who've Lost Their Primary Income Enter Educational Programs
That Lead to Employment

Trenton, NJ -- To help Sandy-impacted displaced homemakers become economically self-sufficient, New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Allison Blake today announced that the state will use $480,000 in federal funds to augment eight of the State’s displaced homemaker programs in areas affected by the storm.

“Expanding our social services, such as our displaced homemakers program, means women who are struggling with the loss of their primary source of income and recovering from the storm are able to get the help they need,” said Commissioner Blake.

A displaced homemaker is a woman who has lost her primary source of income due to divorce, separation, death or disability of a spouse and who must now obtain or update her skills to enter the workforce.  Displaced homemaker programs provide a range of services, including life skills development, computer literacy training, job counseling and training, job placement assistance and resources, and financial management services.

Last year the state’s fifteen displaced homemaker programs helped nearly 3,700 women become self-sufficient.

The additional funding for the program comes from a federal Social Service Block Grant (SSBG) awarded to New Jersey after Sandy.

“For many women in our county who were already struggling to find a job, Sandy made the situation worse, “, said Suzan Grey Burr, managing director for the Women’s Rights Information Center in Englewood.  “Many of them lost so much and are still trying to recover.  These training funds will help them gain the skills and credentials they need to enter the workforce with qualifications and confidence to compete and succeed.”

The funds will primarily assist displaced homemakers in affected counties successfully complete an educational program that will lead to employment.   If needed, women may be able to receive some assistance for transportation, clothing and childcare and food vouchers.

“I personally believe that self-sufficiency comes one step at a time,” said Eileen A. Burdge, community services specialist for Displaced Homemakers Program of Ocean County.  “One thing I love about working with my clients is watching them progress and achieve a first success, which could be anything: getting a GED diploma, taking a first computer class or going to a workshop.”

Displaced homemaker programs in Sandy-impacted counties sharing the federal funds include:

Atlantic                      Atlantic County Women’s Center
Bergen                      Bergen County Technical School
Bergen                      Women’s Rights Information Center 
Essex                        National Council of Jewish Women of Essex County
Hudson                      Catholic Charities of Newark
Middlesex                   Jewish Family & Vocational Services of Middlesex County
Monmouth                  Brookdale Community College
Ocean                        Ocean County College

In addition, DCF plans to develop displaced homemaker programs for Sandy-impacted citizens in Cape May, Cumberland and Union counties.

“Thanks to the additional federal funding, we will be able to help more women, especially those struggling from Superstorm Sandy, earn certificates in active and growing career fields and find meaningful jobs,” said Roni Salkin, coordinator for the Women’s Center of the Jewish Family and Vocational Service of Middlesex County.  “Often we are the last hope for women who are trying to support themselves and their families for the first time, and the more women we can help the better it is for everyone.”

The complete list of displaced homemaker programs by county is available by visiting http://www.nj.gov/dcf/women/displaced/county.html.


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Press Contact:
Michael Drewniak
Colin Reed
609-777-2600

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