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Governor Chris Christie and Pastor Joe Carter of New Hope Baptist Church encourage NJ residents to dial 211 this holiday season if they need encouragement and support. NJ 2-1-1 maintains a database of over 10,000 community resources including addiction recovery services, health and wellness programs, and services providing assistance with life’s most basic needs – food, clothing, affordable housing, utility assistance and more. The Gift of Support is a phone call away. As the video says, "Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week offering encouragement, support and services. That help is at New Jersey's 2-1-1. Just call 211 for free, confidential support. You're not alone in your struggle. Just dial 211."
If you worked part-time or full-time in 2016 you may be eligible to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (also known as the EITC or EIC) when you file your taxes this coming year. Tax season starts on January 1, 2017 and by April 15 all returns must be filed. Depending on your income and family size, you could receive a federal credit in the range of $506 to $6,269, and a state credit of $178 to $2,195. To learn the particulars of the EITC and eligibility requirements, visit our tax assistance web page.
Help is available when it comes to filing your taxes or applying for the EITC. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites are located throughout New Jersey and are staffed by people who have been trained to help you file your tax return for FREE. Every year NJ 2-1-1 compiles the most comprehensive list of VITA sites. In some locations we can also schedule appointments. Visit our website or dial 211 to speak with a community resource specialist who will find the location nearest you.
NJ 2-1-1 welcomed in the holiday season with an ugly sweater contest and Secret Santa gift exchange that took place during a festive luncheon with staff, board members and United Way partners. During the celebrations, we honored one of our own.
Anjali Luland was commended for her ten years of service as a community resource specialist. “Anjali has been an exemplary member of our staff for years,” states Janice Kaniewski, NJ 2-1-1 call center director. “She listens so carefully that she often hears the message behind the words spoken by our callers. It’s that kind of careful listening that brings her to search for community resources that will satisfy expressed and unexpressed needs.” Expertise like this can make a real difference in a person’s life.
That is exactly the sentiment expressed by Roberta, a grandmother from Essex County who called us this summer hoping to find an affordable apartment for herself and her granddaughter who she is raising. As the conversation continued, and Anjali learned that Roberta was caring for the young child, Anjali told her about the Kinship Navigator Program, a program designed to help family members who are raising children whose parents are unable to do so. Roberta called hoping to find out about some affordable housing. Thanks to Anjali, she learned about the New Jersey Housing Resource Center, the Kinship Navigator Program, utility assistance programs and pantries in her area that could help her if she was running low on food. “I was at my wit’s end that day,” Roberta says. “2-1-1 changed all that for me.”
* NJ 2-1-1 is a free and confidential service. We could never have told Roberta's story without her express permission. Thank you Roberta for helping us share our work with others by sharing your story with us!