Monthly Archives: November 2019


JBJ Soul Foundation Celebrates Groundbreaking of HABCORE Expansion Project In Red Bank

Red Bank, N.J., (November 15, 2019) – Today HABCORE broke ground on a 4-unit expansion project on River Street in Red Bank. Funds have been donated by generous community individuals as well as New Jersey Natural Gas, the Lydia Collins deForest Charitable Trust, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ National Housing Trust Fund, and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

Groundbreaking Ceremony for HABCORE’s River Street Project held November 15, 2019

HABCORE is a nonprofit organization in Red Bank, NJ that provides permanent housing and supportive services to homeless veterans, families and individuals with special needs in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Its mission is to provide permanent housing and individualized support, helping homeless families, veterans, and individuals with special needs move through crisis to stability, giving them the opportunity to improve their lives.

This is the first time the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has donated to permanent housing for the formerly homeless in Monmouth County. “The River Street project presented a unique opportunity for the Foundation to help realize our two-fold mission of ending the cycle of homelessness and hunger in the Red Bank community,” said Heather Goldfarb, Executive Director of JBJ Soul Foundation. “We are pleased to partner with HABCORE to provide affordable housing to those in need, while continuing our support in the community through JBJ Soul Kitchen and JBJ & PBC Hope & Comfort Warming Center, all within walking distance of one another.”

Housing in Monmouth and Ocean counties is scarce and unaffordable for many. In 1988 HABCORE was formed to house the homeless when three Red Bank men froze to death on the streets of Red Bank during a harsh winter. The agency was named HABCORE in the memory of those men whose initials began with H, A, and B. Over the past 31 years HABCORE has continued to meet the needs of the previously homeless in both congregate and independent living settings. 

HABCORE now has 300 residents living across Monmouth and Ocean counties including 60 families with 100 children. Residents represent a formerly homeless population of very-low-income families, veterans, and individuals with special needs.

HABCORE’s goal is to grow continuously to meet the needs of the 665 estimated homeless in the Monmouth-Ocean region. “This generosity enables HABCORE to increase the number of affordable, supportive units in Red Bank by building onto the existing 100-year-old duplex which we’ve owned since 1992,” said Steve Heisman, Executive Director. “We have a distinguished track record for expanding services to meet the rising need for housing while continuously improving support to residents.”

As part of HABCORE’s Independent Living Program, the residents will receive supportive services, such as training in job acquisition skills and financial literacy.

Approved unanimously by the Red Bank Zoning Board of Adjustment, the project will make the first floor units wheel chair accessible with a motorized lift on the front of the property. A laundry room will be added in a breezeway connecting the older structure with the new addition, and a fire suppression system will be installed to serve both structures. All construction will be energy efficient.

Rendering of HABCORE’s River Street Project

Elected officials whose districts represent HABCORE’s service area praise its programs and the vital need it addresses:

“HABCORE is a true leader in our Monmouth County community,” said Senator Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch). “So many New Jersey families have been touched by their dedicated efforts, and this funding will allow HABCORE ore to continue to aid more households in need. Thank you to all of the staff, volunteers, and supporters who make HABcore’s mission possible.”

“When addressing homelessness, housing has to be the first part of any solution,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold), who chairs the Human Services Committee in the State Assembly. “We’re grateful to HABCORE for all of their efforts to support underserved families, and will continue to do all we can to make sure that they can continue this critical work.”

“Our communities are better off because of HABCORE’s contributions,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “This funding for their efforts in Red Bank is a clear statement that New Jersey will continue to prioritize the needs of our most vulnerable residents, and I look forward to seeing how HABCORE core will use this funding to serve local families.”


JBJ Soul Foundation, HELP USA and Partners Welcome Veterans Home to Walter Reed

Formerly homeless DC veterans move in to supportive housing on the former site of Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Jon Bon Jovi visiting Walter Reed

(WASHINGTON, DC) – HELP USA CEO Tom Hameline, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and other project supporters cut the ribbon for the HELP USA Walter Reed Veteran Apartments. This new 100 percent affordable development provides permanent supportive housing for 77 previously homeless veterans.

“There can be no higher or better use of this historic site than to continue serving the men and women of the Armed Services.” said Tom Hameline. “Because of the vision of the District government, the generosity of our private sector partners, and the hard work of my team, we can today move seventy-seven veterans off the street and offer them what they always deserved, a place to call home.”

This project was built by HELP USA, a national housing and homelessness non-profit and developed in partnership with the District of Columbia as part of their fifteen-year redevelopment of the sixty-six acre parcel that was once home to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. HELP’s building is the first residential development to open on the campus.

“When our veterans experience a housing crisis, we’re going to be there for them with programs in that in safe, service-enriched permanent housing,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our vision for Walter Reed was to deliver community benefits and build a neighborhood that will benefit Washingtonians for generations to come. We built on that commitment today by supporting our most vulnerable residents and ending homelessness by opening new affordable housing for District veterans.” 

The building was designed to serve the unique needs of formerly homeless veterans. It features seventy-seven studio apartments, office space for medical staff, counselors and case managers, a cafeteria, a gym, and a landscaped courtyard.

It was funded through government sources and the generosity of private donations. Grants from lead private funder, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, as well as generous contributions from The Weinberg Foundation, The Abell Foundation, The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, The Home Depot Foundation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the National Equity Fund comprised a large portion of the funding and were instrumental in the development financing.

“The JBJ Soul Foundation is proud to once again partner with HELP USA as we welcome 77 Washington D.C. veterans to a place they can call home. We were called on to lead the private sector investment at Walter Reed and are proud to have this opportunity to say thank you to those who so bravely serve our country,” said Jon Bon Jovi.

Jon Bon Jovi with one of the veterans moving in to her new apartment at Walter Reed

The 77 units to be constructed will be offered at the following affordability levels: 75 permanent supportive housing units at 30 percent Median Family Income for chronically homeless veterans and two units at 50 percent median family income. The site of the project is the former Abrams Hall (Building 14), was originally constructed in 1976 as barrack housing for soldiers receiving long-term medical care who were able to live semi-independently.

“In supportive housing communities like Walter Reed, people have the chance to heal, rebuild their independence and find hope again,” said Debbie Burkart, who leads the LISC/NEF Bring Them Homes initiative, which has fueled thousands of affordable housing units with services for veterans.  “We’re grateful to investors and philanthropic funders like Morgan Stanley, Cathay Bank, Citi Community Development and Northrup Grumman, all of which recognized the importance of this project early on and saw the tremendous capacity of HELP USA to make it a reality. We could not be prouder to be their partners in the critical work.”

The project was designed by Weincek Associates, built by Ellisdale Construction and Development and made possible by construction financing through TD Bank.


Governor Murphy has declared NJ SNAP Awareness Week in New Jersey from November 10th through 16th

NJ Human Services Working with Food Pantries, the Faith Community, Grocers and Others to Help New Jerseyans Connect to SNAP  

TRENTON – As Thanksgiving approaches and thoughts turn to food, friends and family, New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson announced a special focus on combating hunger in New Jersey by connecting families to the State’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or NJ SNAP, which can help working families and individuals with lower incomes afford groceries.

An estimated 1.4 million New Jersey residents are food insecure, meaning they lack regular access to enough affordable food for themselves and their families. The food insecure in New Jersey include nearly 270,000 children and 210,000 older residents.

“In New Jersey, we do not and will not turn our backs on those in need whether they are experiencing poverty, a disability, or having difficulties making ends meet,” said Governor Murphy.“The Trump Administration has already cut SNAP benefits twice and now, as we begin to enter the holiday season, they are coming back for more. We are committed to ensuring that our families, friends, and neighbors in need are receiving the assistance to make sure no one goes hungry.”

“For New Jersey’s children to thrive, to learn in school today, and to have a chance at the best possible tomorrow, they need to know that they have a reliable source of food and nutrition. No child should go hungry. No child should face constant anxiety and worry about where their next meal is coming from. For older New Jerseyans, it should never be the case that they are forced to choose between paying for food and paying for their prescriptions. And, for working families and individuals with lower incomes, the combination of rising rents and increased food costs can make it challenging to get on the best financial footing,” Commissioner Johnson said. “This Thanksgiving season, NJ Human Services is pleased to join with community organizations across the State to get the word out about NJ SNAP. If you or someone you know regularly struggles to afford food, we urge you to visit to learn more about how NJ SNAP can help.”

As part of the effort, Governor Murphy has declared NJ SNAP Awareness Week in New Jersey from November 10th through 16th to encourage residents struggling with hunger or food insecurity to learn more about SNAP. 

In New Jersey, individuals and families with incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($23,017 for an individual and $39,461 for a family of three) may be eligible for SNAP depending on their assets and other expenses. An individual can be eligible for as much as $194 per month and a family of three can be eligible for as much as $509 per month, depending on their assets and expenses. 

Today, nearly 700,000 New Jersey households rely on NJ SNAP for help buying groceries.  About 6,000 grocers, community markets, bodegas, farmer’s markets and other food retailers in New Jersey participate in NJ SNAP, generating approximately $1 billion in revenue for these New Jersey businesses.  Individuals can learn more about NJ SNAP and apply at or by visiting their local county board of social services.      

“In this season of giving when much attention is focused on the importance of food and community, NJ Human Services is working with community leaders to bring greater awareness to how NJ SNAP can help fight hunger in New Jersey,” Commissioner Johnson said. “NJ SNAP is our state’s most critical anti-hunger program and the first-line of defense against food insecurity. We hope that as New Jerseyans gather together with friends and family this holiday season, everyone can spread the word about helping those in need connect to food assistance through NJ SNAP.”

NJ Human Services is working with county boards of social services, community food pantries and food banks, grocers, the faith community, and community organizations to get the word out about how NJ SNAP can help fight hunger.

“NJ SNAP is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans,” said Assistant Commissioner Natasha Johnson, who directs Human Services’ Division of Family Development. “During this holiday season and throughout the year, we will continue to work with our county partners to help residents learn more about how NJ SNAP can help their families.”