We have found that the best way to explain what United Way of Central Jersey does, and what the money we raise does, is to provide real life stories of the individual lives that are changed by having access to the social service agency programs we fund.
Reading these stories will bring to light how critical it is that we all are "Working together to do - Creating positive changes that affect individuals, families and the communities in which we live and work. To our supporters, take pride in what you read below and “Thank-you!”
"My father is an alcoholic. When he drank, he would hit, mostly my mom, but sometime me too. My mom would get so sad that she stayed in bed for days at a time, not even getting up to eat or take a shower. Finally, we left my dad and believe it or not, I really missed him. I started skipping school and getting into trouble. Eventually, I got sent to the Alternative Disposition Program where I got a mentor who has helped me understand that it's okay to miss my dad. I guess the best part was that my mentor believed in me. He never just thought of me as a troublemaker or a problem. He kept telling me I was better than the things I was doing. I still don't see my dad, and it still bothers me a lot. But it helps to know there is someplace I can go where they will help me to feel better."
Kenny, age 13 - Alternative Disposition Program
I was on the waiting list for a child care voucher for six months. It was like a full time job trying to find someone to take care of my two-year-old son. On Mondays and Fridays, my sister would take him. On tuesdays, I would take him to my Aunt and on Wednesdays, there was a neighbor. I didn't have anyone steady for Thursday and that was always a problem. I was losing a lot of time from work and my boss said if i missed one more day, I would lose my job. Two days later, my name finally came up for subsidy. Now my son is in a registered Family child Care Provider's home. She takes excellent care of him and he loves being with all the other children. He is learning so much. I cannot thank you enough for helping me with child care payments.
Stephanie - Child Care Subsidy
"When I first got to the Social Service Center, I was barely getting by. I was getting general assistance and food stamps, but after paying bills, there was little left at the end of the week. The Center helped me with food and clothes. They put me in the Job Readiness Training Program and helped me do what I had to do to get a job. They even gave me nice clothes to wear to the interview. I got the job, and I've been there for seven months. It's not enough to say that Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, helped me back up on my feet. They really gave me so much more than food, clothes and the means to get and keep a job. They gave me myself respect back, and that is something that is priceless."
Anthony - Job Roadlness Program
Sam's mom was a drug addict and alcoholic. As a result, Sam and his siblings made a home for themselves in an abandoned building. Sam, as the oldest, was in charge. Thought he was 16, and little more that a child himself, Sam kept his family together for quite some time before they were found by DYFS. Sam's younger siblings were sent into faster care, but because of his age, Sam was sent to the independent Living Facility. The separation of his family led Sam into a deep depression resulting in suicidal and homicidal gestures. The incident, which led to his removal from the independent living program, occurred when Sam had an argument with another resident and threatened him with a knife. From there, Sam come to Catholic Charities, diocese of Metuchen, and was placed in the Peter and Paul House where he addressed his issues with depression and anger. Sam was able to attain above average grades in school, attend school functions and maintain employment. Due to his lack of family resources, Sam was transitioned to the Independent living Program. During this time, he was able to graduate from high school and work to save a substantial sum of money. the independent Living Program was able to access Chaffee Funds to assist Sam in setting up an apartment in the community. Sam continues to live on his own, has maintained consistent employment and recently turned twenty-one.
Sam - Peter and Paul House