Code Blue Programs Assist Residents in Need of Shelter
The Code Blue Initiative is designed to provide shelter for homeless individuals and residents without sufficient accommodations when temperatures drop below freezing. The Code Blue Season runs from November 1st through April 15th, with designated “warming centers” operating between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am.
When a Code Blue alert is issued, volunteers collaborate with police, emergency medical services, the County Health Department and Human Services, and the state Office of Emergency Management to prepare warming centers and identify individuals who may be in need of shelter.
Code Blue alerts are issued within 24 hours of a severe weather event. In Salem and Cumberland counties, Code Blue is activated when temperatures fall below 25 degrees, or below 32 degrees with precipitation.
For more information on Code Blue and updates on Code Blue Alerts, please contact the Cumberland County Code Blue Coalition at www.codeblueccnj.org, or call 1-888-410-3973. The Salem County Code Blue Initiative can be reached at www.cohmbc76.com/code-blue.
Energy Programs Offer Financial Relief in Paying Utilities
The Third District legislators recently discussed an important program that provides financial assistance to New Jersey residents who are behind in paying utility bills. The TRUE and PAGE programs, administered by the Affordable Housing Alliance, can provide up to $1,500 in utility assistance.
The Temporary Relief of Utility Expense (TRUE) and Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) programs are annually funded by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and provide grants to assist low to moderate income families with their energy bills. Eligibility is determined by gross annual income for the household with requirements that include holding an active account with a past due balance, with their service presently turned on, and residents must not currently receive LIHEAP or USF assistance.
“The TRUE and PAGE programs assist low to moderate income households who are experiencing a temporary financial hardship and who do not currently receive other types of assistance,” said Assemblyman Taliaferro. “I encourage qualifying residents to learn more about these helpful programs.”
The Third Legislative District is a qualified intake location for applications. Residents may contact the West Deptford office at 856-251-9801 or the Salem office at 856-339-0808. In addition, residents may also visit an upcoming mobile office for assistance.
Residents may visit the Third Legislative District’s website at www.njlegdistrict3.com for more information.
NJ Parks & Forest App Helpful for Planning Summer Trips
During the summer season, the Third District Legislators are encouraging constituents with smartphones to make use of the free New Jersey Parks and Forests Guide to explore the state’s extensive outdoor recreational resources.
The app recently received a thorough update that includes a brand new user interface, photo galleries on each park description page, and an improved 4-in-1 search tool to find parks by location, available activities, and category.
The guide is a feature-rich app that contains information on all state parks including general policy, contact information, activities, trails, event schedules, online reservations, park advisories, and weather information. The GPS tools allow users to track and time their activities, and they provide an extra safety element in the event of an emergency.
These and many other features make it a one-stop-shop for outdoor-loving smartphone users in New Jersey.
The enhanced features on the app are designed to operate in areas with little to no mobile reception. The app was created through a collaboration between the New Jersey State Parks, Forests, Historic Sites and ParksByNature Network®.
The NJ Parks and Forests Guide is available as a free download through the iTunes and Google Play stores.
New Jersey offers opportunities for Veterans to pursue employment in Education or higher education degree programs. The Troops to Teachers program is administered by the New Jersey Department of Education and assists eligible military personnel in transitioning to a career as a public school teachers. A network of State TTT offices provide participants with counseling and assistance regarding the processes of teacher certification, employment, and referral services within school districts. Participants may be eligible for financial assistance through the certification process or to encourage work in schools serving a high percentage of students from low-income families. The primary purpose of the program is to help recruit quality teachers for schools that serve low-income families, relieve teacher shortages, and provide possible career opportunities for veterans.
The Troops to College Program is designed to promote veteran awareness to the resources available at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities in order to provide a smooth transition for our veterans into new educational opportunities. The initiative is lead by the New Jersey Department of Higher Education, in consultation with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The program provides an overview of services offered at public colleges and universities including certificate and degree programs and available benefits and services for veterans.
For more information on the Troops to Teachers or Troops to College program, please visit www.state.nj.us/education/tttnj/ and www.nj.gov/highereducation/TroopsToCollege/index.shtml.