Truly, if it wasn't for HABcore, my babies still wouldn't be with me. It is because of this program that we are all together under one roof, and that is what I am thankful for the most. I cannot thank y'all enough.
– Jasmine, mother of three
HABcore, by providing permanent housing and individualized support, helps homeless families with children, veterans, and individuals with special needs move through crisis to stability, giving them the opportunity to improve their lives.
Currently we provide a safe home for approximately 300 people, including 65 families with 110 children that were previously homeless. According to the latest Point in Time Count, there are 332 homeless households in Monmouth and Ocean counties including 179 children under the age of 18. For almost 30 years, HABcore has been on the front lines of this issue and has been expanding to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable in our community.
In the late 1980’s, several LunchBreak (a charitable organization dedicated to feeding the hungry in the greater Red Bank, NJ area) volunteers conducted a survey and found that a large percentage of the people they were feeding were living in substandard housing. These volunteers initiated a new organization whose purpose was to provide affordable housing in the same geographic area. Unfortunately, before the new agency was able to launch, three homeless men froze to death on the streets of Red Bank. The "HAB" in HABcore was derived from the initials of these three men.
When HABcore started in 1988, we had just one boarding home in Red Bank which housed five people. In 1992, HABcore implemented an independent living apartment program which allowed us to meet the needs of individuals and families who are able to live alone.
We now have two boarding homes, and we have expanded across Monmouth and into Ocean County, growing from five to approximately 260 residents. These developments are among our more important accomplishments, as we remain committed to expansion, whenever prudent, to help meet the direct need for affordable, supportive housing. Every resident in the HABcore program is encouraged to work, volunteer or attend a program to address their needs. The goal for all residents is that they have a safe place to call home where they can reach their highest potential.
Homelessness is an ongoing issue in our community. Every day HABcore staff, trustees and volunteers work to restore stability, dignity and hope to the less fortunate, hoping to one day break the cycle of homelessness for future generations.
In terms of physical growth, we have expanded from five residents to approximately 300 since our inception in 1988. We have doubled in size in the last four years. We currently operate two large boarding homes in Red Bank and Asbury Park with 51 residents and many “graduate” independent but supportive apartments. The Independent Living Program has different components:
- Properties we own in Red Bank, Keansburg, Eatontown, and Beachwood which house 39 residents.
- Properties we lease through a HUD-funded program scattered all over Monmouth County which house 150 residents from the Bayshore area to Spring Lake Heights.
- Properties we lease through a HUD-funded program in Ocean County which house 19 residents from Brick to Little Egg Harbor.
- A Rapid Re-Housing program in Ocean County which provides assistance to homeless families for up to two years with a design on promoting independence after that time.
- In January 2018, HUD awarded us an additional $150k+ to expand our Monmouth and Ocean programs.
- We are also eagerly awaiting the go-ahead to work on a 20-unit building on Ft Monmouth.
HABcore has extensive experience in providing permanent supportive housing to low-income individuals and families. Central to our philosophy is the recognition that we must help our clients attack the root causes of their poverty. As our population has evolved to one where many are people with disabilities, we have expanded support services to accommodate their needs and to foster self-sufficiency. The primary goal of our programs is to furnish our residents with the tools to reach their highest level of independent living.
HABcore believes in specific, measurable outcomes. It is a priority for HABcore to ensure we are making an impact in our residents’ lives by providing supportive services through our team of licensed social workers to all those who are housed in our apartments. Our residents can achieve success when resources are made available through these supportive services.