HABcore Cuts Ribbon for New Red Bank Housing

Ribbon cutting for the completed River Avenue extension

HABcore had their ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, September 29, celebrating the grand opening of its 4-unit expansion of a home at 119 River Street that began last November.  A tour of the inside of the home was offered to see the improvements.

A nonprofit organization based in Red Bank, HABcore supports permanent housing services to homeless veterans, families and individuals with special needs in Monmouth and Ocean counties.  Their mission is to provide individualized support giving them the opportunity to improve their lives.

The community really stepped up with generous contributions provided by individuals as well as New Jersey Natural Gas, the Lydia Collins deForest Charitable Trust, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ National Housing Trust Fund, and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

“JBJ Soul Foundation is thrilled to partner with HABcore and other local organizations to see the River Street project come to fruition,” said Jon Bon Jovi, Board Chairman of the JBJ Soul Foundation.  “Affordable and permanent housing continues to be scarce for many homeless individuals and families in Monmouth and  Ocean counties, particularly during these challenging times.  We remain committed to our mission of helping those in need in Red Bank and surrounding communities—whether a place to call home on River Street, a warm, healthy, and delicious meal at JBJ Soul Kitchen, or access to support services and community resources at the JBJ & PBC Hope & Comfort Warming Center.  All of which are within walking distance to one another.”

HABcore was formed in 1988 to house the homeless after three Red Bank men froze to death on the streets succumbing to a harsh winter.  The agency was named HABcore in the memory of those men whose initials began with H, A, and B.

The non-profit has 300 residents including 60 families with 100 children living throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties and their goal is to meet the needs of the 665 estimated homeless in the Monmouth-Ocean region.

“We are excited to offer permanent homes to low income individuals with special needs residing in this affluent area.  We are always looking to provide new housing for those in our community who are less fortunate.  We also offer supportive services and new avenues of independence,” said Steve Heisman, Executive Director.

As part of HABcore’s Independence Pathways Program, the residents will receive supportive services, such as training in job acquisition skills and financial literacy.  Two of the residents are currently enrolled in Lunch Break’s Life Skills Program.

The River Street project is wheelchair accessible with a motorized lift on the first floor, and a new breezeway laundry room connected to the original structure with the new addition.  All construction is energy efficient with a fire suppression system serving both structures.

Elected officials whose districts represent HABcore’s service area praise its programs and the vital need it addresses: “HABcore is a true leader in our Monmouth County community,” said Senator Vin Gopal (D-Long  Branch).  “So many New Jersey families have been touched by their dedicated efforts, and this funding will allow HABcore to continue to aid more households in need.  Thank you to all the staff, volunteers, and supporters who make HABcore’s mission possible.”

“When addressing homelessness, housing has to be the first part of any solution,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold), who chairs the Human Services Committee in the State Assembly.  “We’re grateful to HABcore for all of their efforts to support underserved families and will continue to do all we can to make sure  that they can continue this critical work.”  

Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) says: “Our communities are better off because of HABcore’s contributions.  This funding for their efforts in Red Bank is a clear statement that New Jersey will continue to prioritize the needs of our most vulnerable residents, and I look forward to seeing how HABcore will use this funding to serve local families.”

HABcore helps those who may seem “invisible” to the rest of us; the homeless and families and veterans that are truly in need.

This year with the pandemic, it’s more critical than ever for giving and remembering those less fortunate than us.

To make a donation to HABcore, click HERE to be redirected to the donation page.

And remember, don’t give until it hurts, give until it feels good!

This article appeared on October 2, 2002 in TAPintoRed Bank and was written by E, Scott Wingerter