Salvation Army steps in to assist NJ families in need of rental assistance
Many New Jersey families are feeling the pressure now that the state’s eviction moratorium is over. But help may be on the way for some as the Salvation Army steps in to assist.
The organization is helping some families who owe $5,000 to $7,000 in back rent.
Patricia is a mother of three. Her children are 11, 9 and 6 years old. Like so many mothers across the country, she had to stop working and stay home when schools closed in the pandemic and her kids started to learn virtually.
Patricia, who did not wish to reveal her last name, spoke with News 12 New Jersey through a translator.
“It’s been very stressful, emotional for them having to pay rent and attend to their kids and their needs and pay other bills,” the translator said on Patricia’s behalf.
Patricia cleaned houses and when her children returned to school, her job was no longer available. Her husband also lost his job. Both are now looking for work. But since the eviction moratorium ended on Jan. 1, they have needed help.
When the Salvation Army stepped in, Patricia’s family was one month behind on rent.
“Her landlord has been very gracious and said pay as you can. So they’ve been able to keep up with it little by little,” Patricia’s translator said.
The Salvation Army is now assisting hundreds of families around New Jersey with rental assistance to help them avoid losing their homes to eviction.
“We are seeing an average of four to six months of back rent, with some cases being far more,” says Heather Green, director of Human Services for Salvation Army New Jersey.
Green says that people need help for many reasons. Some may have become sick with COVID-19, some lost their jobs or their companies shut down during the pandemic.
“Not only did this pandemic enter them into a never-ending game of catch up with bills, but it also took a toll on their mental health,” says Green.
The Salvation Army is also helping tend to Patricia’s children’s mental and emotional health.
“They can come to kids’ programs for free and have a safe place to get their minds off of things and just be kids,” Patricia’s translator says.
While the Salvation Army has received funds from the Pandemic Relief Fund, the organization can always use donations to help other families I need.