Community Services

  • The Community Service Staff is available to assist clients with a variety of services that can affect their families and/or lifestyles. All services are voluntary and are kept confidential. Our office is open to walk-in clients or by appointment Mondays through Fridays from 8:30am to 4:30pm, except on observed holidays or scheduled closings. 
  • The Community Service Staff works in partnership with Conifer and CIS (Community Investment Strategies) managements and are available to provide social service intervention when needed to residents who primarily reside in the HOPE VI developments of Portside Commons, Westport Homes, Marina Village, Portside II and Waters Edge Crescent.  
  • The primary intervention provided is Job Readiness assistance that includes, but is not limited to, drafting resumes and cover letters, and engaging clients in Job Search activities such as completing online employment applications, preparing for attendance at Job Fairs and referring them to partners like Union County College (UCC) and/or the Retails Skills Center (RSC) to develop new skills like computer literacy and ESL - English as a Second Language classes which are either free or affordable and will increase their appeal to prospective employers.   
  • Clients come to the office site to access information about employment opportunities. Therefore, in partnership with a Job Developer at Union County College (UCC), copies of a weekly Job Connection bulletin are made available for review and consideration.  Clients are also provided with information on employment websites that post currently available positions.
  • The Community Services Staff office site provides local residents with free access to needed technologies such as computers, printer, copier and fax. This equipment is utilized to address a variety of needs like the following:  surfing employment website and checking job postings, completing employment applications, applying and checking New Jersey Unemployment Insurance benefits online, paying traffic violations and NJ Motor Vehicle Commission fines, completing educational and occupational training assignments, applying for USF (Universal Service Fund)/LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program), accessing rental or utility assistance programs (i.e.  PROCEED Inc., Catholic Charities, Urban League, St. Joseph’s Social Services), referrals to Furniture Assist, food pantries and/or other such services that are needed.
  • The Community Service Staff encourages all clients to establish a free email account to assist with Job Search activities, as all online applications require one. Also, we encourage them to check their emails on a regular basis by making use of the Computer Lab, if they do not have access to this technology at home. 
  • The Community Service Staff is available to refer clients who express an interest in securing a GED Certificate by engaging community partners like Brand New Day and its YouthBuild Program that incorporates both an educational and vocational training component. Also, we refer clients to Union County College (UCC) that is an educational and testing site for GED, and provides an Elizabeth site for the Union County Vocational - Technical Schools’ (UCVTS) Youth Corp that  provide assistance with GED.
  • The Community Service Staff is available to work with clients who express an interest in vocational training by assisting them to identify potential funding sources to cover the cost of training (i.e. One Stop, Pell Grants, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation - DVR, other Financial Aid) and to select an appropriate cost-effective program to meet their training and/or employment goals.
  • The Community Service Staff assists interested residents to identify and access scholarship opportunities for young adults planning to attend college. This includes providing assistance in applying for FAFSA the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  It also includes publicizing The Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth (HACE) Scholarship that started in 2012. In addition, information about other scholarship opportunities such as The Housing Authority Insurance (HAI) Group Scholarship and the City of Elizabeth Arabella Miller Halsey Trust Fund. 

Optional Information: It also includes publicizing The Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth (HACE) Scholarship that started in 2012. This scholarship provides a one-time (non-renewable) (up to) $1,000.00 scholarship offered to high school graduating seniors and college freshman, sophomore, juniors, or seniors at a HBCU or an approved New Jersey College or University. Applicant must have a 2.5 GPA (Grade Point Average) and have a permanent address within the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth, NJ and be a public housing/Section 8/Tax Credit resident. In addition, it provides  a one-time (non-renewable) (up to) $1,000.00 scholarship for a current graduate student enrolled at any accredited four year College or University within the United States. Applicant must have a 2.5 GPA (Grade Point Average) and have a permanent address within the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth, NJ and be a public housing/Section 8/Tax Credit resident.

  • The Community Service Staff is acquiring practical experience in aiding local residents who require assistance with the process of expungement of criminal records.  Though not all criminal records can be expunged, when successful, expungement opens doors and allows individuals whose criminal backgrounds impeded their efforts at job search to secure employment.  
  • The Community Service Staff, in partnership with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey  and through the NJ Community Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), assess the eligibility of senior residents 60 years or older to receive a food bank box with a retail value of $40.00 each month. These food boxes are made available to eligible residents at the senior buildings of Farley Towers, O’Donnell-Dempsey Tower, Kennedy Arms, Ford-Leonard Tower and E’Port Commons. 

Optional Information: Boxed food items routinely include the following items:

  • Can of Mixed Vegetables
  • 32oz. of 1% Milk - Stable Shelf Life
  • 16oz. Elbow Macaroni
  • 1lb. Whole Grain Rotini
  • Canned Carrots
  • 15oz. Spaghetti Sauce with Meat
  • 64oz. Apple Juice
  • 64oz Cranberry-Apple Juice
  • Can of Peaches
  • 24oz. Canned Beef Chili without Beans
  • 14oz. Bag of Farina
  • 18oz. Box of Corn Flakes
  • 2lb. Reduced Fat Cheese
  • 18oz. Jar of Peanut Butter

At times the CSFP will have access to fresh produce in season and that too is distributed to participating seniors.  In the past this had included vegetables such as corn, cucumbers and string beans. 

  • The Community Service Staff works with the Tenant Associations at the different senior buildings and the management staff in various capacities that include but are not limited to the following: organizing Tenant Association elections, arranging trips, scheduling educational workshops and health screenings, as well as planning recreational and holiday events. 
  • The Community Service Staff works with seniors who reside in facilities managed or affiliated with the Housing Authority to provide free services such as health education workshops, flu shots, and health & eye screenings.  Also, working with the Union County and City of Elizabeth - Office on Aging, as well as other partners, staff refers interested residents to participate in other classes, social, cultural and recreational activities and programs. In addition, the staff is available to assist with information and referrals for services such as transportation to medical facilities, home health aides, durable medical equipment and adult medical day care programs. Finally, assistance is provided to residents in addressing a variety of other financial and personal concerns (i.e. medical bill advocacy, NJ SNAP Re-Certifications, Lifeline Communication Re-Certifications, etc.).
  • In partnership with Come Grow With Us! - Groundwork Elizabeth, the Community Service Staff works during the spring and summer to access services to create and/or support existing vegetable gardens at our public housing and senior sites. 
  • The Community Service Staff can provide information and referrals to clients looking for child care, after school and/or summer programs for their children. These needs are primarily met in the local community in partnership with the E’Port Arts, Inc. - Elizabethport After-School and Summer Arts Program, Safe Haven and the Elizabethport Presbyterian Center who provide programs for children.
  • The Community Service Staff provides supportive services to the E’Port Arts, Inc. - Elizabethport After-School and Summer Arts Program, as it receives funding from The Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth. Therefore, we work closely with the Executive Director in her efforts to provide the following activities to Elizabethport children and youths: 
  1. Snacks & Meals [Summer]
  2. Dance Classes (i.e. Ballet, Tap,  Hip-Hop & African Dance) & NYC - Dance Caravan Classes [Spring]
  3. Visual Arts (Video Training, Drawing & Painting Classes) 
  4. Music (i.e. Piano Classes, African Drumming & Voice Training) 
  5. Arts & Crafts (i.e. Jewelry Design-Making & Sewing Classes)
  6. Martial Arts (Karate) Classes & Competitions
  7. Computer Lab (Homework & Research)
  8. Monthly Writing Workshops [Saturday - College Prep]
  9. Chess Classes
  10. Culinary Training & Nutrition [Spring & Summer]
  11. Monthly Math Workshops [Saturday - College Prep]
  12. Homework “Tutor Time” - Academic Year Component 
  13. Pre-Teen & Teen Night Out Workshops (Includes Activity & Dining Out) Examples:
    • Ice Skating Party for Valentine Day
    • NYC Lincoln Center – Paul Taylor Dance Company Performance
    • NYC – Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) Visit
  14. Summer Arts Camp [50+ participants] (Includes Recreational Activities: i.e. Movies, Trips & Roller-Skating)
  15. Sports (i.e. Basketball, Tennis & Swimming Instruction) [Summer]
  • The Community Service Staff represents the Housing Authority in a variety of forums and/or meetings to secure updated information on current programs, services and activities, as well as to advocate for continued services to the local community and our residents, families and/or clients (i.e. Elizabeth Municipal Alliance, Union County Human Services Advisory Council).
  • The Community Service Staff is available to assist the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth to implement a variety of specifically funded educational programs and/or activities that benefit our residents and/or families. In the past this has included such initiatives as the Healthy Living Program, Elizabeth YouthBuild Program and Literacy Skills Program.