HOPES Community Action Partnership, Inc. is an NCOA-supported Benefits Enrollment Center (BEC) in Hoboken, NJ that has a network of over 50 community partners. HOPES builds on their strong community partnerships by providing person-centered, bundled service delivery.

More than half of HOPES staff members are bilingual English/Spanish speakers, a strength that the BEC took advantage of when trying to reach Medicare beneficiaries with limited English proficiency in more remote areas.

Who is the target audience?

The HOPES BEC targets Medicare beneficiaries at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level. They serve Hudson County, Union County, and Somerset County, specifically areas which have a high density of English language learners and where transportation is a barrier to many when it comes to benefits enrollment access.

What do they do?

In order to address the transportation challenge, the HOPES BEC uses an “on the road” approach to take benefits outreach to their target population. Staff are provided with portable laptops, printers, and Wi-Fi access so that they can easily participate in community events throughout the counties but also so they can conduct home visits for those individuals that are homebound.

What were the results?

By utilizing this approach, which was adopted from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) through the IRS, HOPES has assisted hundreds of qualified individuals with applying for one or more core benefits as well as other ancillary services. At the same time, this on the road approach helps to combat barriers related to language and transportation which would otherwise restrict these individuals’ access to services.

For more information

Evelyn Mercado
HOPES Community Action Partnership Inc.