The Union County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce that the Fresh Start program will visit the Elizabeth Public Library on Thursday, April 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Fresh Start brings a mobile shower, laundry and restroom facility to those in need. The program is organized by the Union County Department of Human Services, and staff will be available on site to provide in-person guidance on additional programs and resources that help foster self-sufficiency.
The shower, laundry and restroom facilities are available on a first come, first served basis.
“I am proud to kick off our Fresh Start program once again for the 2023 season,” said Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados, also Liaison to the Union County Human Services Advisory Council. “Bringing essential services to individuals in our community who may not always have access to laundry or restroom facilities is very important. It gives them an extra boost of confidence in getting back on track. In addition, we have other resources on hand including housing information, employment opportunities and supportive services that can help them in future days. I am so glad we are bringing this back to the communities across Union County and hope our residents will spread the word to those who may want to utilize this program.”
The Department of Human Services launched Fresh Start in 2021 as the first program of its kind, in recognition of the need to reduce the travel costs, time constraints and other barriers that prevent individuals from availing themselves of resources at centralized locations. The program brings basic personal care services to individuals in their communities.
The centerpiece of Fresh Start is a mobile trailer equipped with bathroom and shower units as well as laundry facilities. The trailer serves as a portal and contact platform for a continuum of resources leading to self-sufficiency, including emergency shelter and clothing in addition to ongoing resources including mental health, housing, and employment assistance.
Fresh Start coordinates a wide variety resources within County government including the Division of Social Services and the Division on Aging, in coordination with community partners including:
- Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services
- Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless
- Family Promise (Headquarters & Union County office)
- Community Access Unlimited
- Covenant House NJ
- Iris House
- Plainfield Action Services
- Prevention Links
- PROCEED, Inc.
- The Gateway Family YMCA
- The Salvation Army (Elizabeth, Union & Plainfield)
- Urban League of Union County
- YWCA Union County
The Fresh Start trailer will visit the Elizabeth Public Library and the Plainfield Public Library on a regular basis throughout the spring, summer and fall. For a schedule of upcoming visits and additional details visit online at ucnj.org/dhs/fresh-start.
For information on all Department of Human Services activities, visit online at ucnj.org/dhs or call the Action Line, 908-677-5405.
For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
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