ROXBURY, NJ - Bad luck, bad decisions, bad karma, bad economy. Whatever the reason, there are people in Roxbury living in the woods, sleeping in their cars, barely eating and otherwise not exactly living the American Dream, according to Kim Armstrong.
She's the treasurer of a non-profit organization called Friends of Roxbury Social Services. It's a group that, like the unfortunate people it helps, operates in the background of daily life in Roxbury. Its mission is to help Roxbury Social Services assist the less fortunate cope with the myriad challenges and problems that go hand-in-hand with poverty.
Roxbury Social Services Director Janet Wald reaches out to the Friends organization "when there is a need that 's not something that falls sunder the public assistance venue," Armstrong said. "Public assistance accounts are very specific about what they can or cannot do," she explained. "That's why we have a non-profit that fits those sorts of things" be it a hotel room for a night, a babysitter, a car battery or a utility bill.
To be able to do its work, Friends of Roxbury Social Services relies largely on donations. It is currently running a fundraiser on Facebook and hoping people in Roxbury will donate a few dollars.
"We are getting into the cold weather and our needs go up for temporary housing," Armstrong said. "People come out of the woods as it gets colder and the snow starts to come. We are trying to prepare to have temporary housing for them until we get them into the county system."
Armstrong noted the Friends never directly deals with the people it helps. "Janet comes to us when there's a need," she said. "Janet really is the go-to person. She contacts us when she has a client whose problem she can't solve any other way. We're not told who the clients are. We're just told about the situation."
These situations run the gamut, said Armstrong. In the past, the Friends group even helped pay funeral expenses, she said.
People interested in helping the organization can do so a number of ways. In addition to the Facebook fundraiser,, the Friends of Roxbury Social Services has a way of accepting donations at its website. Financial donations (checks payable to Friends of Roxbury Social Services) can also be sent to FRSS, 72 Eyland Ave., Succasunna, NJ 07876.
Those wishing to donate directly to Social Services can bring food and other goods to the Roxbury Social Services center at 72 Eyland Ave. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m..
Social Services supported 6,107 people in 2016, according to the Friends group.