Tips for Relieving Financial Pressure

By Frances Chaves
Being unemployed or underemployed can cause serious financial worries. With extended benefits ending on July 8 for people who have been out of work and collecting unemployment for between 79 and 99 weeks, many people will be looking for ways to make up that lost income. Here are some ideas:

  • Part-time employment during off-hours with the Big Box stores allows for day-timejob search activities. Home Depot offers part-time benefits that include medical, dental, vision, short-term disability insurance and life insurance.
  •  Get paid to do surveys by companies like Schlesinger Associates, either from home or at their local offices.
  • Summer is yard-sale time. The Yard Sale Queen provides tips on running a successful yard sale.
  • Wal-Mart now offers less expensive mobile phone service. You can keep your old phone number.

Resources for Assistance:
1)    The Food Bank Network of Somerset County NJ distributes food every Saturday from 10 am until 11:30 am from two pantries located at United Reformed Church, 100 West Main Street, Somerville; and Hope Church, 519 East Main St., Bound Brook. On the last two Saturdays of each month, a pantry is open from 10 am until 12 Noon at the Vermuele Community Center, Greenbrook Rd., North Plainfield. You can reach the Foodbank Network by phone at 732-560-1813 and Franklin Township Food Bank at 732-246-0009. 
2)   Social Services: Each county’s social services office provides information about financial relief programs. The Somerset County office can be reached at and provides information about the following programs:

  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (Formerly Food Stamp Program)
  • General Assistance
  • Medicaid
  • Emergency Assistance

3)    Healthcare assistance: Low cost or no-cost health insurance for qualifying families. Go to for more information.
4)    Legal Services of Northwest New Jersey provides free civil legal services to low-income people and has an office in Somerville. Their phone number is 908-231-0840.
5)    Homelessness Prevention Program provides limited financial assistance to low- and moderate-income tenants and homeowners in imminent danger of eviction or foreclosure due to temporary financial problems beyond their control. Funds are used to disburse payments in the forms of loans and grants to landlords and mortgage companies on behalf of eligible households in danger of homelessness. Call 866-889-6270 or go to
6)    Avoiding foreclosure:

  • The New Jersey Housing Resource Center at fd provides foreclosure prevention resources and an online tool for finding affordable housing (rentals and purchases).

7)    Avoiding eviction:

  • Landlords are sometimes open to negotiating delayed payments, partial payments and other arrangements.
  • State Human Resources Departments can sometimes offer assistance, especially if you have a family.
  • Churches and other relief organizations (American Red Cross, United Way, and others) can sometimes help with rent payments. Some local agencies are:
    • Catholic Charities: 908-722-1881
    • Jewish Family Services: 908-725-7799

8)    Subsidized housing information:
No one expects to be out of work long. In today’s job market, you may be out longer than you can financially afford. Be sure to take advantage of these services to help you get through a very difficult time.

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