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Funding will provide for a new roof at the emergency shelter in Somerville

December 14, 2012

NEWARK, NJ — Continuing the Christie Administration’s Season of Service outreach to those in need, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein today visited Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, Inc. at the Agapé House in Somerville to announce that the organization has been awarded a $69,262 shelter support grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA).  Weinstein presented a ceremonial check to Volunteers of America Delaware Valley Chief-of-Staff Steve Schultz.


The grant will enable Volunteers of America Delaware Valley to make needed improvements to its Agapé House at 122 East Main Street in Somerville, including the replacement of a damaged roof.  Agapé House is a 60-bed family shelter providing temporary housing and case management to homeless families and individuals.  Necessities such as food, clothing, child enrichment and transportation are available.


“Community service is such a vital part of life in this region, and Governor Christie has emphasized the importance of giving back to the community since day one, and has re-emphasized this message following Hurricane Sandy,” said Executive Director Weinstein.  “While the holiday season tends to draw more attention to the need for community service, organizations such as Volunteers of America Delaware Valley provide community service year-round, helping those in need get back on their feet through the services they provide.” 


Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit organization providing local human service programs and opportunities for individual and community involvement, with local affiliates in 44 states across the nation fulfilling community needs.  In the Delaware Valley, VOADV services help homeless individuals and families, children, the disabled, ex-offenders, and other persons who need the opportunity to rebuild their lives.


The DCA recently awarded $4.03 million in shelter support grants to 28 nonprofit and local government agencies operating emergency homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities throughout New Jersey.  Grant funds will be used to create new emergency shelter beds and support existing beds in homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities.  Funds also will be used to abate code violations, address life safety issues, and purchase equipment, furnishings and vans to improve living conditions for homeless individuals, victims of domestic violence and military veterans.


Funding for the grants is a combination of state appropriation and money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The grants are administered through the DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources.


It is estimated that the shelters and transitional housing facilities receiving shelter support grants will assist more than 3,000 households over the next year.


Today’s event in Somerville is part of the Christie Administration’s second annual Season of Service.  Last year, Cabinet members participated in approximately 60 events across the state—from serving meals on wheels to shut-ins and helping to serve and stock food pantries to stuffing care packages for military service members overseas and holiday letter writing to troops abroad to collecting and delivering coats to homeless shelters.


Governor Christie has emphasized the important of community service since his inaugural address in 2010.  Today, approximately 1.5 million New Jerseyans contribute about 170 million hours of service each year, bringing a positive influence to neighborhoods and communities throughout the Garden State through local groups, houses of worship and civic organizations.




NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 261 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the second largest transit system in the country with 164 rail stations, 61 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.