Finding help when you need it most isn't always easy. There are many state and federal services and programs that were created for the specific purpose of helping people...the trick is in finding the ones that will work for you. That can often feel confusing and overwhelming!
You can always start by dialing 2-1-1 from any phone, day or night, to be connected with a person who cares and knows about community resources. You can also search our database at the top of this page for local resources on your own; or text your zip code to 898-211 and we will respond by sending you information about resources in your community.
Another excellent resource is NJHelps. This web platform is designed to screen you for programs that provide eligible residents help with food and nutrition, finances, short-term housing support, child care, job search and readiness, and healthcare. This free and easy-to-use, web-based service is designed to walk you through basic eligibility criteria online and enable you to anonymously answer simple questions about your family, income, and situation.
Once you've answered these questions, you'll receive a customized list of programs and services designed to help people in your situation. From this page, you will learn where to go for help and what to bring with you. You'll also be able to apply for some programs (food stamps and health insurance) online.
NJHelps does not have the final say in whether you are eligible for programs and services. The suggested list is based entirely upon the answers provided during the screening. Once you have reviewed the list and have decided to apply for benefits, you will still have to contact each program and provide documented household, income, and spending details.
You can re-screen for services if your situation has changed. If you have applied for services before but were declined due to financial ineligibility or if you have recently exhausted your unemployment benefits, you may now be approved depending on your current circumstances.
Learn more at NJHelps.
County Boards of Social Services
The County Boards of Social Services offer a variety of services and programs. If you meet the eligibility requirements for NJ SNAP food assistance and cash assistance you can apply for help at your County Board of Social Services. Call your Board of Social Services BEFORE you go to be sure that the office is accepting visitors. You may be able to apply online.