Promoting financial stability and independence

11.1% of all working households in Monmouth County are considered lower-income (income less than 250% of the federal poverty line.) Many do not earn enough money to meet their basic needs and are just barely getting by. They have no ability to save for college, retirement or a home. Even one unanticipated expense can lead to a crisis.

The Self-Sufficiency Standard developed by The Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute measures the real cost of living (how much money is needed for a family of a certain composition in a given place to adequately meet their basic needs) without public or private assistance. For example, in order for a single adult in Monmouth County to be considered self-sufficient, they must earn at least $12.61 per hour while the minimum wage per hour in New Jersey is $7.25. A single adult with a preschooler and a school-aged child must earn $28.26 per hour, the equivalent of an annual income of $59,683. Two adults with an infant and a preschooler must earn $16.39 per adult the equivalent of an annual income of $69,219.

Monthly Costs 1 Adult 1 Adult
2 Adults
Housing $977 $1,217 $1,217
Child Care $0 $1,491 $1,665
Food $245 $555 $694
Transportation $285 $291 $559
Health care $133 $339 $384
Miscellaneous $166 $389 $452
Taxes $394 $957 $1,064
Child Care Tax Credit (-) $0 -$100 -$100
Child Tax Credit (-) $0 -$167 -$167
Self-Sufficiency Wage
Monthly Expenses $2,220 $4,974 $5,768
Hourly Wage $12.61 $28.26 $16.39 per adult
Annual Income $26,643 $59,683 $69,219

The community and family issues that stem from the economic and financial pressures facing individuals and their families are growing increasingly complex and more difficult to address. By tackling the underlying root causes we can help to empower lower-income households achieve financial independence.

In Ocean County, we are promoting financial stability and independence through increasing income potential, emergency assistance, and establishing assets for long-term stability. Specific programs include: vocational transition for adults with disabilities, senior transportation services, emergency assistance services, homeless youth housing and rap around services, housing assistance and homelessness prevention, emergency food assistance, financial literacy classes, temporary housing, job training, and veterans’ emergency and supportive services.

Thanks to donors like YOU, we were able to support Income Programs in Ocean County that made a difference for:

  • 14,800 people who received information and referrals through NJ 2-1-1
  • 93,329 children and adults who received emergency food.
  • 274 individuals and familes who received emergency housing, rent, mortage, utility and legal services.
  • Continued to support Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group, which provided disaster case management and referral services to 30 families who received funding to complete their rebuild and recovery needs.