“Unfortunately, too many Union County families struggle to provide for their children and maintain what they have,” said James Horne, president and CEO of the county’s United Way. “Our data shows that deepening poverty is linked to rising levels of homelessness, food insecurity and other issues. But we can come together to pool resources and solve these problems.”
Union County freeholders allocated about $130,000 for creation of the center. There are already Family Success Centers in Elizabeth and Plainfield.
“We have excellent services in Elizabeth and Plainfield. This is providing the services in municipality entities, and hopefully we will be bringing it to all municipalities,” Freeholder Chairman Mohamed Jalloh said.
The United Way has established partnership with agencies that provide services. Staff members will offer assessments of people who come to the center and connect them with the agencies that can provide services.
These referrals can provide assistance with child care, pharmacy discounts cards, pregnancy testing, parenting education, continuing education and computer training, among others.
Booker noted that the first Family Success Center opened in Newark while he was mayor of that city. There are now 70 centers across the state.
Union County also has centers in Linden and Hillside.