Mission: To assist those less fortunate meet life's basic necessities while seeking to improve the quality of life for individuals and families and the communities in which they live.
About the Organization: Interfaith Neighbors (IFN) was founded thirty years ago to address the growing problem of homelessness in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Due to the relatively high cost of living and shortage of affordable housing, many working families (both then and now) are one crisis away from homelessness. In addition, Monmouth County seniors on fixed, limited incomes often face difficult choices between housing costs, their nutrition needs, and healthcare expenses. In Asbury Park, the west side of the city has experienced little to no economic or residential stock investment since civil unrest roiled the city in the summer of 1970. As a result, there is little economic opportunity there for residents, and families and youth often find themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty.
Current Programs: Many families in Monmouth Country are one crisis away from homelessness. The loss of a job, a major illness, or an unexpected expense can destabilize a family. Interfaith Neighbors' Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program is designed to help low- and moderate-income families avoid homelessness or recover from unfortunate circumstances that threaten them with homelessness.
The organization's Senior Nutrition/Meals on Wheels Program provides nutritious meals to disabled and homebound seniors over the age of 60 and at eight congregate sites across Monmouth County. Last year, the program delivered more than 300,000 meals to homebound seniors.
And the organization's Community Development and Neighborhood Revitalization program supports the West Side of Asbury Park through the development of affordable housing while addressing the need for economic revitalization, improved community and recreational facilities, public spaces, and public safety.
COVID-19 Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many Monmouth County families into economic crisis. Much of the county's economy is hospitality/service-based, and because hospitality and service-based industries were among the first industries to be affected by the crisis, many individuals and families have either lost their employment entirely or are facing greatly reduced hours.
Funded by the generosity of several local foundations, including the Jules L. Plangere, Jr. Family Foundation, the Stone Foundation of New Jersey, and the Jay & Linda Grunin Foundation, as well as many individual donors, the organization's COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance Fund is providing emergency grants of up to $1,000 to Monmouth County families in support of housing costs, utility and repair bills, food, and medicines.
In addition, in a normal year the organization's Rental & Mortgage Assistance program assists approximately three hundred and fifty families with between $500,000 and $750,000 in direct assistance.
Website: In addition to quick access to the Covid-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, the Interfaith Neighbors website provides information about its affordable housing, mortgage and rental assistance, neighborhood revitalization, and senior nutrition programs; its Kula Urban Farm and Kula Cafe initiatives; information about homeownership assistance and an assistance application form; and an online donation form.
Funding: Interfaith Neighbors is supported by the Monmouth County Department of Human Services, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, the Monmouth County Department of Workforce Development, and foundations and individual donors.