The Department of Human Services, through the Office of Temporary Assistance, provides information and referral, emergency shelter, relocation assistance and temporary rental assistance to qualified individuals and families. A Social Worker will meet with each individual or client to assess needs, explore resources and determine a plan to address the housing issue. Eligibility for certain services may be based upon family size, income and resources.
Preventive services to keep low-income individuals and families in their own homes, if possible, or to provide temporary shelter if they are homeless until they can be relocated to permanent quarters. Social workers work with the individual/family to help them relocate into affordable housing. Housing may be saved with back payments of rent, mortgage, utilities, or a time-limited subsidy. The customer needs to demonstrate that they will be able to afford their housing after the assistance is given. Other services include transportation, food, and medical needs. If the individual/family does not have a social worker or is unsure who their worker is, they should contact the Intake Unit (973-829-8176) to request services. OTA maintains a 24hour Homeless Hotline 1-800-640-9783, for people experiencing housing emergency.
One Month Back Rent, First month’s Rent or Security Deposit may be provided to clients who present at the agency homeless or in danger of homelessness and with financial hardships. Assistance is based on future affordability and proof that there was a hardship within the home that prohibited the client from paying the rent. Clients will be seen by a social worker in the office to better assess their needs. Currently, OTA does not have funding to assist clients with ongoing rental assistance.
Full range of social services available by calling 973-829-8176. Anyone with an identified problem such as housing, medical needs, financial needs, transportation or personal problems may receive help. Target populations are vulnerable adults or families experiencing housing, financial, child rearing, or mental health problems. Social workers do an initial needs assessment, screen for program eligibility, give information and referrals, and provide short-term services such as links with shelters, back rent/mortgage assistance, utility and relocation assistance. Individuals/families with on-going needs are assigned to the appropriate service unit.
Emergency Utility Assistance is available to clients who are in need of a one-time payment to their utility company and have received a shutoff notice. There is a maximum dollar amount that OTA can assist with, but the ultimate goal is to avoid shut off or restore service when possible. Clients will be seen by a social worker in the office to better assess their needs.