JFS Awarded Grant from Casino Reinvestment Development Authority
Posted on March 29, 2022
Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). The funds will be utilized for JFS’ Atlantic Homeless Alliance (AHA) Travel Assistance program which provides individuals and families in Atlantic City experiencing homelessness to connect to secure housing and other necessary services.
With this program, JFS staff will help individuals reconnect with family, friends or a service provider. JFS staff join with the person in a problem solving conversation and then cover the cost of a bus, train or plane ticket. This emotional support and concrete assistance makes all of the difference between remaining homeless in Atlantic City or gaining viable housing.
“The generous funds provided by the CRDA are vital to ensure JFS is able to continue to provide this key intervention to address homelessness in Atlantic City. By working in partnership with Atlantic County, Atlantic City and other community providers, JFS staff are able to reconnect individuals to their community of origin and avert homelessness,” said Andrea Steinberg, JFS Chief Executive Officer.
In 2020, the Atlantic County Point-in-Time Count, an annual snapshot of the population of people experiencing homelessness, showed that 95% of the county’s homeless population live in Atlantic City. It also indicated that nearly one-third of those people reported that their last permanent address was outside of the county (Monarch Housing, 2020).
The AHA provides a single point of entry to assist individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. AHA staff develop a personalized support plan with the primary goal of addressing concerns and challenges relating to homelessness. Since 2014, JFS has effectively provided travel assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness or housing instability in Atlantic City. From April 2020 through March 2021, JFS’ Atlantic Homeless Alliance helped 2,544 individuals with travel assistance, homelessness prevention, supportive housing, case management and more. In partnership with JFS’ Project Assistance Transition from Homelessness (PATH), the team offers skilled outreach to the unsheltered and chronically homeless with serious mental illness to develop trusting relationships and provide support.
“The JFS Travel Assistance program creates an economic benefit for Atlantic City by reducing long-term public costs associated with homelessness,” said CRDA Board Chairman Modia Butler.
For more information on JFS programs and services, visit www.jfsatlantic.org or call 609.822.1108.