FREEHOLD, NJ – Today, Monmouth ACTS (Assisting Community Through Services) officially launched the Financial Recovery Initiative to help support the financial needs of Monmouth County residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognizing that the financial impact of the pandemic was going to be devastating to businesses and residents throughout the County, Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone and the Division of Economic Development initiated efforts to help support businesses of all sizes affected by COVID-19. To ensure the financial needs of Monmouth County residents impacted by the virus are also being met, Freeholder Director Arnone tasked Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley with heading up the County’s financial recovery effort for residents.
“Residents have been hit hard by COVID-19 - from loss of employment and income to food insecurity and more,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Kiley, liaison to the County’s health and human services departments. “We’re also seeing a whole new group of residents who have traditionally been self sufficient but now find themselves in need of public resources, guidance and support. The Financial Recovery Initiative (FRI) is designed to help residents on their path to financial recovery – by providing clear, consistent and timely information and easy access to services and resources.”
The Financial Recovery Initiative organizes a structure at the County level to facilitate connections among government funding opportunities, local communities, families and individual residents. It maximizes the opportunity for human service, health and financial empowerment supports to complement efforts to meet the needs of individuals and families in a holistic fashion.
Although details of FRI are in development, core service areas will include: employment, entitlement benefits, financial coaching, food/nutrition and child care. It is anticipated that aspects of FRI will be underway sometime in July.
Task Force Members Announced
To ensure the Initiative effectively meets the needs of the community, Deputy Director Kiley established the FRI Task Force comprised of key Monmouth County leaders from the government and private sectors.
Kiley will serve as chair of the Task Force, which will be co-chaired by Frank Robinson and Derinzer Johnson, pastor, St. Steven’s Church, Asbury Park. Members include: Teri O’Connor, County Administrator; Joe Annecharico, Assistant to Administrator; Mary Pat Angelini, Monmouth ACTS Advisory Council (MAAC) Chair; Ginger Mulligan, MAAC Vice Chair; George Destafney, President of Central Region, OceanFirst Bank; Jeff Schwartz, Director, Monmouth County Department of Human Services; Lori-Anne McClane, Director, United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties; Larry Sternbach, Director, Workforce Development Board; Steven O’Keefe, private citizen; John Ciufo, Director of Economic Development, Monmouth County; Lorraine Scheibener, Director, Monmouth County Division of Social Services; John Brown, Director, NJ Employment Services; David Stout, President, Brookdale Community College; Donna Blaze, Director, Affordable Housing Alliance; Beatrix Oesterheld, Director, Community Affairs and Resource Center; Kathy Collins, Director, MonmouthCares; and Gwen Love, Executive Director, Lunch Break.
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