4/1/20 -- During these uncertain times, Cape May County government is diligently working to maintain essential services for the residents. Nowhere is this more evident than at the Social Services building. Staffing has been reduced in an effort to maintain social distancing and most are working on a rotating schedule to ensure the needs of the community are being met. Several staff members are working from home to keep up with the daily needs of the department. Tuesday extended hours have been curtailed until further notice and hours were adjusted to allow for the limited staff. The building is open from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm and closed from 12:30 to 1:30 for lunch.
Freeholder Jeffrey L. Pierson, liaison to Health and Human Services stated,
"All programs and services under the Department of Human Services will continue to be provided in addition to updated programs being added to help families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Increases in SNAP payments were effective as of March 29 as part of the Governor’s $35 million appropriation for supplemental payment to help more than 340,000 New Jersey households purchase groceries during the next two months."
New and updated information pertaining to Social Services programs can be found on the County website at www.capemaycountynj.gov on the COVID-19 page.
"Among those who are most vulnerable are the homeless population. Human Services continues to address this issue and currently, the best count of unsheltered in the
Page 2 -- Social Service Updates
county is six. Local law enforcement identified three of the six and reached out and instructed them to go to Social Services for assistance. Additionally, The Branches are also informing the unsheltered to come to Social Services for shelter. Those who go to the office will be placed. The staff cannot force them to take services," Pierson added.
"The latest count of temporary sheltered in local motels is 140. This is a significant increase from the average count of 50 and is a result eligibility changes in the State’s Immediate Need program. The program is for 30 days and was extended twice due to this crisis. To qualify for Immediate Need the person has to be eligible for WFNJ GA or TANF. This program is for sheltered people as well, and no proof of homelessness is needed, " reported Donna Groome, Director of the Department of Human Services.
For those with income and live in motels and need money until their next paycheck will be able to get assistance through the end of April. Donna Groome, instructed Emergency Assistance (EA) staff to use SSH and SSHA shelter funds to help cover those with need. This funding source was designated to address the impact on workers during this pandemic.