Regaining Their Financial Footing
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Regaining Their Financial Footing

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April 23, 2014

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Explore how to implement the Economic Security Initiative in your community.

Last year, thanks to support from the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation, NCOA expanded its Economic Security Initiative (ESI) approach to Passaic County, NJ. Implemented by local partner PathStone, the ESI approach helped over 200 low-income seniors receive comprehensive economic casework and supports to regain their financial footing.

Here are the stories of two seniors PathStone helped.

Mrs. C: Health and housing assistance

Mrs. C was enrolled in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) through PathStone before implementing ESI launched in Passaic County, and therefore, had not received a holistic economic assessment. After conducting the assessment, PathStone determined she was eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and New Jersey state health care benefits.

She applied and received $59 per month in SNAP benefits as well as health insurance. With the benefit of access to health care, she has been able to better manage several chronic conditions, including high blood pressure. Additionally, Mrs. C is underwater on two mortgages and struggling to pay them. The Pathstone ESI team connected her with counselors at the NJ Homekeepers Program administered by Passaic County and the United Way of Passaic County’s Financial Enterprise Zone to discuss options and help her manage the mortgages.

Mr. O: Help beyond employment

Mr. O came to PathStone seeking information about employment. During his interview, he mentioned that he was expecting to be homeless in the next few months because he had no income and was still awaiting the resolution of a workers' compensation claim with his previous employer.

PathStone staff provided Mr. O a BenefitsCheckUp® and found he was eligible for Medicaid, SNAP, and housing benefits. He applied for and received SNAP benefits of $200 per month and Medicaid. PathStone staff continues to assist him with paperwork related to his temporary disability claim. His health has improved to the point where now he is looking to return to work through SCSEP program or another employment program.

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