Food Stamps, Other Social Services Requests in Ocean County Jump by More Than 100 and 200 Percent from 2007

Families and individuals living in Ocean County that have been negatively affected by an ailing economy continue to find help at the Ocean County Board of Social Services.

“Over the last five years we have seen increases of more than 100 and 200 percent for some of our social service programs,” said Freeholder Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Board of Social Services. “Many of our citizens in Ocean Countyhave been affected by the downturn in the economy. These programs and services provide a lifeline as they work toward regaining employment and keeping a roof over their head.”

Little noted that since 2007, the number of people accessing services and programs provided by the Board of Social Services have increased in some cases more than 200 percent.

He said applications for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families were up 94 percent while General Assistance was up 103 percent and requests for food stamps increased by almost 263 percent from 2007 with 60,297 people receiving the help. As of January 2013, 2,554 people were accessing General Assistance, and 3,979 are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Little noted that the increases seen over the last five years have been related to negative changes in the economy with many residents losing jobs and as a result losing income.

He added there is a concern that with federal assistance expected to come to an end following Superstorm Sandy that there may be another increase in the number of people seeking assistance from the Ocean County Board of Social Services.

“Now, in particular, the programs and services administered by the Board are increasingly seen as a financial lifeline for many families who are affected by unemployment and loss of income,” Little said. “It’s important our residents – whether affected by the storm or the economy – know they have a place to turn to during these difficult times.”

The Board of Social Services administers more than 60 programs to assist needy and under-privileged families and individuals living inOceanCounty. In 2012, the Board of Social Services saw 121,481 people.

“Funding for these programs comes from federal, state and county sources,” he said.

Little said more than $600 million in state and federal funds flow through the Board of Social Services for programs and services. In addition,OceanCountyearmarked $20 million for assistance programs.

He added that about 3,900 persons, on any given night, are receiving help from social services including temporary rental assistance, temporary shelter, back rent/mortgage assistance and other rental assistance programs.

Little noted that since 2007, households being provided homeless services increased by more than 105 percent with 882 people receiving help in 2007 while 1,842 accessed the services in 2012.

“We have seen a spike in the number of people that have reached out to the after hours special response provided by social services,” Little said. “The number increased from 1,335 in 2009 to 1884 last year. We make every effort to accommodate everyone who needs help no matter what the time – day or night.”

Little commended the staff at the Board of Social Services for making every effort to help those who need assistance.

The staff at the Board of Social Services is working hard to provide the support and help needed during these difficult times,” Little said. “The Board of Freeholders commends the Social Service staff for the thorough job it is doing.” TLS.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I guess that is why it takes so long to get approved. I’m still waiting…. its been over 2 months since my phone interview……

  2. I don’t get assistance but I have to deal with Social Services . They are so backed up it takes months to get rent payments to come in, people go without food stamps.Vouchers get lost -paperwork missing. If you call the office no caseworkers pick up the phone and if you do get through to someone the attitudes are terrible.

  3. what the breakdown is by town, how many get this or that, and the costs associated with the type of assistance to each town. I’d also like to know how much it costs to put up a person or family in one of the motels they use (winter rental) each night. Assuming the average number of people put up every night is 882 (the 2007 number) and possibly an average rent of $30 a night, that comes out to over $9.6 million. Because so much money is being spent on rent for a room, is that why there are no shelters built, because the connected are receiving the rent money? Having the figures would be a nice way to see possibly where the money is going and maybe figure out a better less costly way (if possible) to take care of the problem. Change the number to 3,900 homeless and the amount jumps to $42.7 million. Seems like a good reason not to build a shelter(s). I’d like to follow the money and see where it leads, but someone will scream “privacy issues” even though you don’t ask for names, just towns and how many and how much. I should be able to see where my hard earned money is ending up, since I don’t get to use it or see it anymore.

  4. how is it that people with no money for food or housing can afford a computer or smart phone with internet? Where are their priorities? Give up those luxaries and provide for your selves and families. Get rid of cable and pets also if you can’t take care of yourself.

  5. This is how Obama got reelected, with all the free stuff he gives away, while the rest of us that pay taxes have to pay for them. And he wants to raise taxes again!! When will it end???

  6. What “hi says” is correct. The Obama Administration eliminated the previous $2000 asset test (which disqualifed anyone who had that amount from receiving benefits) and also raised maximum income limits so more individuals and families qualify. Pres. Obama , also by executive order, ended the mandatory work requirement for welfare recipients that was instituted by former Pres. Bill Clinton in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. Considering Food Stamps alone, about 50 million food stamps beneficiaries are receiving this taxpayer-funded benefit at a cost of about $65 Billion this year. How does Congress pay for this? Well, 42 percent is borrowed from China or the Federal Reserve by printing paper money. These welfare programs are all designed by Congress and the President. The Ocean County Board of Social Services is mandated to administer these federal programs. The bottom line: Washinton is borrowing roughly 42 percent of the cost of Food Stamps (and all other Welfare and non-Welfare spending ) for food consumed today and handing the tab to our children and grandchildren 10, 15, 20 years into the future. Collectively, we are dooming the future of our children and grandchidren, living on a national credit card today and giving them the bill when it eventually comes due. No other generation of Americans has hung such a millstone around the neck of future American generations.

    42000

  7. I am just wondering; why is it that there is no asset limit on the food stamps program? I can understand that $2,000 cap was too low, but why eliminate it completely? Why allow someone who has a million dollars in savings get the assistance, yet someone with a family of 8 for example, making $55,000 with no savings not be eligible at all? What was President Obama thinking????

  8. The Ocean Co. Board of Services barely has enough staff and has recently hired some people. I understand that most of their work is being outsourced to an HMO at the end of this year. I can’t see that making the service any better.

Comments are closed.