By: Michael Daigle
January 12, 2010
The multi-county social service provider NORWESCAP has expanded its Dover-based Early Head Start program and added programs designed to help low-income residents of Morris County save more money and improve their budgeting skills.
As part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the agency received $1,227,269 through the federal Department of Health and Human Services to expand Early Head Start in Morris, Warren, and Hunterdon counties and $1,240,420 under the Community Services Block Grant program to assist low income individuals in northwestern New Jersey.
The Community Service Block Grant funding serves low income individuals that have income under 200 percent of poverty. This eligibility has been increased from 125 percent of poverty creating an opportunity to serve additional individuals in need.
"We are pleased in Morris County to be able to offer a range of new and expanded services to assist Morris County residents," said NORWESCAP executive director Terry Newhard.
The new funds have allowed the agency to create 14 new jobs in Morris County, said Lois Henseler, Director Head Start/Early Head Start.
Early Head Start serves low income pregnant women and families with children birth to age 3 who have incomes under 100 percent of the poverty rate. In 2009, a family of four was living in poverty if their income was less than $22,050, according to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
NORWESCAP has been providing this service in Morris County since 2001 and has seen a steady rise in enrollment during the past year in part because of the difficult economic conditions.
The additional funding will allow 32 children more children and families to be served in the Morris County area, Hensler said.
Newhard said the federal stimulus funding will allow the agency to offer an expanded Individual Development Account Program, and a secondary savings program, an individual financial literacy matched incentive program, that is also tied to financial educational workshops.
"Programs such as the Individual Development Account Program, a matched savings program, are often underfunded and this ARRA money provided an opportunity to allow more individuals that can benefit from the program the opportunity to participate," Newhard said.
The new savings program helps people change their behavior as it relates to money and create opportunities to build wealth, he said.
"This program allows NORWESCAP to create some new partnerships with private sectors," Newhard said.
NORWESCAP is recruiting Morris County families to participate in the Individual Development Account matched savings program, individual financial literacy and opportunities to reach out to the private sector.
For financial program information call 973-784-4900. For information about Early Head Start, call 973- 989-0440, or for general information visit www.norwescap.org.