Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has updated guidelines for accessing essential human services programs during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Residents can continue to access vital services while observing basic guidelines for limiting the spread of the virus, including social distancing,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.
Residents in need are advised to contact County offices by phone whenever possible.
The following services have been impacted:
American Job Centers
- Both of the American Job Centers (in Elizabeth and Plainfield) are open at this time. However, please call ahead in case of changes.
- Effective Monday, March 16, the Union County Paratransit System will run only life-sustaining medical trips.
- All other transportation is cancelled until further notice, including the Route 22 Safety Shuttle.
Meals on Wheels
- All congregate sites will be closed effective Wednesday, March 18 (some have already been closed by their jurisdictions).
- Any person who previously used one of the 23 congregate meals sites and continues to need assistance with meals can call Union County Meals on Wheels at 908-527-4870.
- Home delivered meals for persons with disabilities and seniors over 60 and older will continue and will be expanded for persons in need of meals in their homes, while observing precautions for limiting contact.
Emergency Shelter for Persons who are Homeless
- Persons who are homeless, or anyone assisting a homeless person can call the Division of Social Services at 908-965-2700. All arrangements for assistance will be made by phone.
- After 4:00 p.m., all after-hours referrals for shelter should be directed to the Statewide Homeless Hotline, 211 or 877-652-1148.
Snap Food Stamps, Cash Assistance and Work Requirements
- To apply for SNAP food assistance, or cash assistance under the Work First New Jersey program, Union County residents may do so online at org. An office visit is not required, as the Union County Division of Social Services will have staff is available to conduct interviews by phone.
- Work First New Jersey cash assistance clients who are due for their case to be reviewed in March or April will receive a 60-day extension. The extension is automatic and does not require an office visit.
- SNAP food assistance or Work First New Jersey cash assistance clients are excused from their work activity requirement without penalty. This includes people who are applying for Work First New Jersey General Assistance and who are in a work activity for 28 days while their application is being reviewed. Please note that voluntary participation in a work activity is allowed, if the activity is conducted in accordance with social distancing guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
- Clients are encouraged to mail or fax any needed paperwork to the Division of Social Services offices. For those dropping off papers by hand, use the drop boxes located in the front lobbies of the Social Services offices at 342 Westminster Avenue in Elizabeth or 200 West Second Street in Plainfield.
The following offices are available to persons needing other assistance:
24-Hour Emergency Psychiatric Services
- Mobile Community Outreach (Adults): 908- 994-7131
- Union County Mobile Response & Stabilization (Children): 877-652-7624
- RWJ University Hospital: 732-381-4200
- Overlook Hospital: 908-522-2000
- For information about mental health or addiction services in Union County, call 908-527-4846 or 908-527-4844.
24 Hour Rape Crisis Hotline
- Persons in need of assistance due to sexual assault should call the 24 hour hotline: 908-233-RAPE
Family Crisis Information
- Persons in need of 24/7 response within one hour for youths in crisis or unable to remain in their homes can call 908-514-2313.
- Until further notice the Pediatric Immunization Clinic remains open at 40 Parker Road Elizabeth NJ.
For more information about services provided by the Division of Human services visit online at ucnj.org/departments/human-services.
For additional updates on all County services impacted by COVID-19, including recreation cancellations and closures, visit ucnj.org/coronavirus.
Members of the public with questions about COVID-19 can call the New Jersey Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 1-800-222-1222. The call center is open 24/7 and offers guidance in several languages.
Please note that this number is for the general public only. Clinicians should call their local health department for guidance.
Connect with Union County on social media.