The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey recently announced it will dedicate $50,000 to a call specialist for displaced casino workers, through New Jersey’s non-emergency helpline NJ211.
The specialist, reached by calling 211, will help connect people laid off from casino jobs with agencies that can help them.
According to United Way, 14,400 people in Atlantic County called 211 for help in 2014, along with 5,535 people in Cumberland County and 3,009 people in Cape May County.
By far callers’ biggest need is for temporary financial assistance, followed by housing help, disaster recovery, government assistance and food help, according to a report on the 211 web site.
“Many who have supported the community in the past may find themselves in need of help, and managing the nonprofit and government assistance landscape can be difficult if you are unsure where to begin,” said Jim Cawley, UWGPSNJ president and CEO.
The $50,000 is coming from United Way’s Impact Fund, the organization said.
The call specialist, who will be available over the next 10 months, is expected to fill a critical need as unemployment benefits are soon exhausted for an estimated 5,500 residents.
“We have learned, through several challenges over the past few years, that collaboration really is the key to achieving greater impact,” said Alex Marino, Atlantic County Freeholder, Assistant to the Provost for Atlantic City at Stockton University and chair of UWGPSNJ’s Local Board.