Local Programs Foster Financial Stability


For a comprehensive listing of programs and agencies dedicated to fostering financial stability search the NJ 2-1-1 database located at the top of this page using the "Need/Topic" terms financial counseling or family success centers.


Below you will find a brief description of United Way initiatives that foster financial stability. In addition to organizing their own events, local United Way offices provide funding to existing community agencies to put initiatives into action for the benefit of the individuals and communities they serve. See what local United Way initiatives are at work in your county.

Atlantic County
The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey in Atlantic County supports the work of local agencies dedicated to fostering self-sufficiency and promotes free tax preparation that helps low-income residents capitalize on specialized tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Education Tax Credit.

Through an initiative known as the Impact Fund and the Lubert IDA Program this United Way is also helping residents save money to achieve long-term goals. The Lubert IDA Program is a savings program that helps working individuals save for post-secondary education or their first home; assets that will help secure their long-term financial stability and security. By matching the investments of participants, the United Way helps them to establish a pattern of regular saving and provides participants with financial education, covering topics such as establishing good credit, budgeting and long-term money management skills.

Since its inception in 2002, nearly 400 individuals have successfully completed the Lubert IDA Program. Find out more about this program and access an application here.

Bergen County
Bergen County's United Way has a very active housing support initiative that is dedicated to working with community partners to secure affordable housing, a job search support program devoted to helping job seekers and a highly personalized assistance program known as the Compassion Fund. The organization also supports free tax preparation that helps low-income residents capitalize on specialized tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Education Tax Credit.

Burlington County
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey in Burlington County promotes financial stability and independence through its partner agencies which administer programs fostering job training, homelessness prevention, affordable housing and financial education. It promotes free tax preparation that helps low-income residents capitalize on specialized tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Education Tax Credit.

Through an initiative known as the Impact Fund and the Lubert IDA Program this United Way is also helping residents save money to achieve long-term goals. The Lubert IDA Program is a savings program that helps working individuals save for post-secondary education or their first home; assets that will help secure their long-term financial stability and security. By matching the investments of participants, the United Way helps them to establish a pattern of regular saving and provides participants with financial education, covering topics such as establishing good credit, budgeting and long-term money management skills.

Since its inception in 2002, nearly 400 individuals have successfully completed the Lubert IDA Program. Find out more about this program and access an application here.

Camden County
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey in Camden County helps families become financially stable and independent. Funds go to programs in Camden County that help residents to gain work readiness skills, long-term employment, financial literacy, established credit, a bank account and adequate housing. See the local programs which receive funds for this work.

Through an initiative known as the Impact Fund and the Lubert IDA Program this United Way is also helping residents save money to achieve long-term goals. The Lubert IDA Program is a savings program that helps working individuals save for post-secondary education or their first home; assets that will help secure their long-term financial stability and security. By matching the investments of participants, the United Way helps them to establish a pattern of regular saving and provides participants with financial education, covering topics such as establishing good credit, budgeting and long-term money management skills.

Since its inception in 2002, nearly 400 individuals have successfully completed the Lubert IDA Program. Find out more about this program and access an application here.

This United Way is also a partner in the JOIN Collaborative, a partnership created to address the workforce crisis in the region. While businesses in the region lack strong talent to fill critical jobs, a majority of the eligible workers are underemployed or not in the workforce at all. JOIN acts as the "matchmaker" between industry and the workforce, leading partnerships that train low-wage workers for high-demand, available positions.

Cape May County 
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey in Cape May County promotes financial stability and independence through its partner agencies which administer programs fostering self-sufficiency, job training, affordable housing, education and literacy.

Through an initiative known as the Impact Fund and the Lubert IDA Program this United Way is also helping residents save money to achieve long-term goals. The Lubert IDA Program is a savings program that helps working individuals save for post-secondary education or their first home; assets that will help secure their long-term financial stability and security. By matching the investments of participants, the United Way helps them to establish a pattern of regular saving and provides participants with financial education, covering topics such as establishing good credit, budgeting and long-term money management skills.

Since its inception in 2002, nearly 400 individuals have successfully completed the Lubert IDA Program. Find out more about this program and access an application here.

This United Way is also a partner in the JOIN Collaborative, a partnership created to address the workforce crisis in the region. While businesses in the region lack strong talent to fill critical jobs, a majority of the eligible workers are underemployed or not in the workforce at all. JOIN acts as the "matchmaker" between industry and the workforce, leading partnerships that train low-wage workers for high-demand, available positions.

Cumberland County
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey in Cumberland County promotes financial stability and independence through its partner agencies which administer programs fostering disaster response, job training, affordable housing, education, literacy and tax savings through the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Essex County
United Way of Northern New Jersey Family Success Center serves communities of northern Essex County: Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Montclair, North Caldwell, Roseland, Verona, and West Caldwell. The mission of the Center is to ensure all North Essex families and individuals are supported on their path to self-sufficiency. Through partnerships with local businesses, service providers, and faith-based institutions they provide educational programs to assist individuals in developing personal goals and action plans that promote financial stability, and help North Essex residents understand and utilize the resources available to them. To this end the Center helps residents-in-need apply for food stamps, NJ FamilyCare and other subsidized health care programs and offers financial counseling.

The Center's financial literacy seminars offer classes for children ages 3 through adulthood that focus on budgeting, saving, building credit, and more. United Way works with community partners to provide free tax preparation, while also helping low- and moderate-income residents capitalize on specialized tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Education Tax Credit. The Center also has an employment resource center designed to help residents obtain jobs by offering career counseling, workforce development workshops, and computer training. Further assistance is provided through their maintenance of a listing of local jobs in an effort to help North Essex residents find employment close to home.

The Family Success Center is located in Montclair at 60 South Fullerton Avenue, Room 205 . It is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Residents are encouraged to meet with coordinators to discuss their unique needs. While appointments are suggested, they are not required. Spanish speaking staff is available throughout the week. Call 973.746.4235 to learn more.

United Way of Essex and West Hudson covers a population of approximately 700,000 in 13 communities in Essex County and western part of Hudson County: Belleville, Maplewood, East Newark, Newark, East Orange, North Arlington, Harrison, Nutley, Irvington, Orange, Kearny, South Orange and West Orange. This United Way administers a matched savings program called Individual Development Accounts (IDA). This federally funded program is designed to assist low-income individuals and families build financial assets to purchase a home, start or grow a small business, or pay for college tuition or vocational education.

The IDA program assists people in achieving financial independence by providing the skills to:

    • Develop a budget and set goals
    • Establish regular savings habits
    • Build assets for long-term economic security

The program matches the savings of families, up to one-to-five times the size of each deposit made. A savings match means that for every $1 you save, you receive $4 for a total of $5, up to $5,000.

IDAs are available to income-qualifying residents who participate in the program for a minimum of six months after opening an account, complete the approved, basic financial education classes, finish classes related to savings goals and provide documentation for a qualified purchase. For more information contact Josephine Russo by email at jrusso@uwewh.org or by phone at 973.854.2246.

The United Way of Essex and West Hudson also encourages financial stability through education in the form of Financial Literacy Workshops and Plan and Pitch Small Business Boot Camp classes. Additionally it promotes free tax preparation that helps low-income residents capitalize on specialized tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Education Tax Credit.

Gloucester County
The United Way of Gloucester County supports local agency work that fosters self sufficiency. See a listing of local agencies. Their Women's Leadership Council provides initiatives focused on making positive changes in the lives of women through financial literacy, mentoring and volunteerism.

Hudson County
United Way of Hudson County is dedicated to addressing the problem of homelessness. For years the organization has supported the work of homeless shelters in the community and is an integral part of the team assembled to end chronic homelessness in Hudson County by increasing job and self-sufficiency skills of citizens as they work to enhance permanent housing opportunities in Hudson County.

United Way of Essex and West Hudson covers a population of approximately 700,000 in 13 communities in Essex County and western part of Hudson County: Belleville, Maplewood, East Newark, Newark, East Orange, North Arlington, Harrison, Nutley, Irvington, Orange, Kearny, South Orange and West Orange. This United Way administers a matched savings program called Individual Development Accounts (IDA). This federally funded program is designed to assist low-income individuals and families build financial assets to purchase a home, start or grow a small business, or pay for college tuition or vocational education.

The IDA program assists people in achieving financial independence by providing the skills to:

    • Develop a budget and set goals
    • Establish regular savings habits
    • Build assets for long-term economic security

The program matches the savings of families, up to one-to-five times the size of each deposit made. A savings match means that for every $1 you save, you receive $4 for a total of $5, up to $5,000.

IDAs are available to income-qualifying residents who participate in the program for a minimum of six months after opening an account, complete the approved, basic financial education classes, finish classes related to savings goals and provide documentation for a qualified purchase. For more information contact Josephine Russo by email at jrusso@uwewh.org or by phone at 973.854.2246.

The United Way of Essex and West Hudson also encourages financial stability through education in the form of Financial Literacy Workshops and Plan and Pitch Small Business Boot Camp classes. Additionally it promotes free tax preparation that helps low-income residents capitalize on specialized tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Education Tax Credit.

Hunterdon County
United Way of Hunterdon County provides financial coaching to individuals and organizes financial literacy workshops in an effort to improve financial stability to individuals in need. Read more about these initiatives.

The Hunterdon Diaper Bank (HDB) centralizes the fundraising and distribution of free diapers to ALICE families through existing service providers, including local food pantries, daycare centers, social service agencies and shelters. Through a Diaper Distribution Network (DDN) HDB will provide free diapers monthly to ALICE families in Hunterdon County.

United Way of Hunterdon County also engages local businesses, organizations, schools, families and individuals to "adopt" those in need during the holidays through their Holiday Hands Program and provides free tax preparation that helps low-income residents capitalize on specialized tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Education Tax Credit.

Mercer County 
United Way of Greater Mercer County builds economic security and self-sufficiency by promoting an understanding of the benefits of filing for EITC and then maximizing EITC returns by developing an asset building program with community partners through its United Financial Empowerment Partnership. Their partner in this initiative is the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness


Middlesex County
United Way of Central Jersey supports financial literacy for all families and individuals including asset building, credit counseling, knowledge of budgeting, personal finance, home buyer classes, responsible tenancy, tax filing assistance services, etc. For information about current programming call 732.247.3727.

Monmouth County
In order to move the bar on financial stability United Way of Monmouth County begins by helping families in financial crisis to meet their basic needs. Then, the organization connects these households with the tools and strategies to help them increase and maximize their income, as well as begin the longer-term process of saving and building assets to be able to meet future crisis. Implementation is a three-step process:

  1. Encourage/develop access points to the financial mainstream for un-/under-banked households by partnering with financial institutions to encourage savings
  2. Increase awareness of the importance of saving, reducing debt, and building wealth
  3. Assist lower-income and lower-wealth individuals and families accumulate savings for investments in long-term assets (i.e. house and/or home repairs, postsecondary education, a small business, or a car) through matched savings accounts-Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

Morris County
United Way's Center for Financial Growth offers a variety of services to help northern New Jersey families and individuals gain the tools needed to achieve financial stability. Visit their website to learn all about their work to promote affordable housing, encourage employment, provide financial stability through their mentoring program, educate through financial workshops and help eligible residents benefit from earned income tax credits.

The local Northern New Jersey Saves campaign motivates community members to begin building savings and assets.

Ocean County
United Way of Greater Ocean County promotes financial stability and independence through programs that increase income potential, provide emergency assistance, and help to establish assets for long-term stability. Specific programs include: vocational transition for adults with disabilities, senior transportation services, emergency assistance services, homeless youth housing and wrap around services, housing assistance and homelessness prevention, emergency food assistance, financial literacy classes, temporary housing, job training, and veterans’ emergency and supportive services.

Passaic County
United Way of Passaic County's Financial Empowerment Zone (FEZ) helps individuals and families attain and preserve assets, become more financially stable, and achieve long-term economic independence. They provide free tax preparation services, case management help with enrollment in income supports and financial literacy workshops to increase the financial stability among lower-income working families in Passaic County.

Get help with college costs by filing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). On Tuesdays and Thursdays (from 10:00am-4:00pm) the United Way of Passaic County in partnership with the Paterson School Board, Paterson Guidance Counselors and College Financial Aid Counselors is providing one-on-one service to parents and students, by helping them apply for financial assistance with college tuition through the FAFSA process. Once the application is filed they also provide follow-up assistance on additional sources of funding, verifications and corrections, review of reward letters and other financial considerations. Get the help you need by calling Paula Smalling at 973.279.8900 (extension 204) to schedule an appointment. Appointments are required to meet with a counselor. Download a flyer in English or Spanish.

Salem County
United Way of Salem County supports free tax preparation that helps low-income residents capitalize on specialized tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Education Tax Credit.

Somerset County
United Way Center for Financial Growth provides education to help families and individuals achieve financial independence. Working with community partners, they provide a variety of services including:

    • Access to local resources that provide advice on financial issues including credit, housing, employment, and more
    • Credit repair and counseling with consumer credit counselors who work with residents to develop a personalized action plan to pay down debt or build credit
    • Financial coaching to help people develop a personalized plan to meet their financial goals
    • Financial education through workshops and training on vital financial topics
    • Savings and asset building - by developing a savings plan that works exclusively for them, residents set and accomplish financial goals
    • Free tax preparation that helps low-income residents capitalize on specialized tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Education Tax Credit

To learn more about this initiative call 908.253.6516. Visit Northern NJ Saves for more saving tools and resources for residents of Somerset County.

Sussex County
United Way of Northern New Jersey supports the work of local agencies dedicated to fostering self-sufficiency and promotes free tax preparation that helps low-income residents capitalize on specialized tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Education Tax Credit.

Union County
United Way of Greater Union County partners with non-profits and government agencies throughout the county to help deliver the human services the community needs including programs that help people build the job skills and knowledge necessary for them to attain financial independence and stability. Over 55 organizations have joined this Community Resource Network, each one filling a vital role connecting the individuals and families of Union County, North Plainfield and South Plainfield to the support they require.

Warren County
United Way of Northern New Jersey supports the work of local agencies dedicated to fostering self-sufficiency and promotes free tax preparation that helps low-income residents capitalize on specialized tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the Education Tax Credit.



Page last modified/reviewed on October 05, 2015

If you know of additional resources that would be appropriate to include in this section, please let us know by contacting us via e-mail at info@nj211.org

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