Press Releases

State and local officials, friends and staff gathered on October 4 to mark the expansion of The Lakewood Resource and Referral Center (LRRC), 212 Second Street, Suite 204, Lakewood, and to honor Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders Deputy Director John Bartlett and Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the LRRC.

The LRRC, a federally designated 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization, provides free comprehensive social services, information, referrals, counseling, community education, and assistance in navigating government and private sector programs in such areas as housing purchasing, rental counseling, health care insurance plans, nutritional supplementation programs, and home utilities payment assistance programs to Ocean County residents.

The LRRC opened its doors in 2005. The new addition of 1,400 square feet and a reorganization of existing space will better accommodate clients, with four new offices, a larger waiting area, and a more private area where case managers can address questions and concerns.

In one month, 11 LRRC employees answer more than 1500 phone inquiries, conduct an average of 270 counseling sessions, assist more than 700 walk-ins, and teach classes for first-time home buyers, among other community, health care, and educational services and assistance.

Sarah Sternbach, executive director of the LRRC, said, “Ocean County is growing by leaps and bounds, and we are proud to be growing along with it. We worked very hard to build according to the needs of the community, helping to create a pleasant environment and an enjoyable experience for anyone who needs our help.” x

About the Lakewood Resource and Referral Center (LRRC): Specialty LRRC services include affordable and fair housing; American Recovery & Reinvestment Act; budgeting; CDC immunization compliance; credit counseling; credit repair; disability insurance; employment counseling; health care plans; lead abatement/poisoning prevention; nutrition; supplementation programs; SNAP (food stamps) application, Parts 1 & 2; presumptive eligibility screening; utilities bill and equipment assistance.

LRRC Case Managers help our clients identify the assistance programs for which they may qualify. They help clients complete the paperwork as needed. To schedule an appointment with a case manager, call 732-942-9292. For more information, visit www.lrrcenter.org for more information.

Ribbon cutting

Award to Mayor Ray Coles

Award to Mayor Ray Coles

Award to Freeholder John Bartlett

The Lakewood Resource and Referral Center (LRRC)’s Home Buyer Open House/Education Event on Monday night, hosted in partnership with Solutions to End Poverty Soon (STEPS) at the CHEMED building on Madison Avenue, was a great success. The free semi-annual event had a turnout of over 125 attendees who came to discuss their mortgage options and hear presentations on important topics related to the home-buying process.

Seven vendors were in attendance, and each had representatives available to discuss all aspects of the mortgage process with Open House participants. Additionally, attendees were able to get preliminary prequalification for mortgages and compare the different loan options offered by the various lending institutions present.

In addition to the Open House component, the LRRC/STEPS event also featured a Fast-Track Education element consisting of a series of three 10-minute presentations delivered on the benefits of First-Time Home Buyer mortgages, credit and money management, mortgage calculations and ratios, and the application process. The half-hour-long series of presentations was held twice, once from 6:30-7:00 and again from 7:15-7:45.

Attendees came away from the event with a vastly improved understanding of their own situations and of the home-buying process in general. The atmosphere was lively and positive, with bank representatives and attendees engaged in thoughtful conversation throughout the evening. Several attendees expressed that the event was very helpful and that the presentations were engaging and to-the-point. Each attendee received a free copy of the LRRC’s Home Buyer Handbook Edition II, which summarizes the entire home-buying process and contains important advice for home buyers, among other helpful features. The Home Buyer’s Handbook also lists a comprehensive directory of product and service providers whose services home buyers and homeowners are likely to need.

With the LRRC's assistance, hundreds of families have attained the dream of homeownership. The LRRC provides homeownership education classes, as well as one-on-one counseling sessions. It partners with lenders that offer first-time home buyer programs to assist clients with obtaining the lowest interest rates, lower down payments with no mortgage insurance, and other benefits for which they may be eligible. To schedule an appointment to attend a homeownership education class or to speak with a housing counselor, contact the LRRC at 732-942-9292.

 

On Wednesday evening close to 50 people gathered in the CHEMED Education Room for an informational seminar entitled, “Know Your Retirement Options.” With the growing population of seniors in Ocean County, the LRRC/CHEMED coordinated this event to provide information and resources about topics that are important to the elderly population, their children, and those that are contemplating retirement options. Several attendees contemplating moving from NY to Lakewood drove in for the event. Dr. Elchonon Glantz, Geriatric Doctor at CHEMED Health, introduced and moderated the evening’s presentations. He also discussed recommended immunizations for seniors, an especially important topic during this time of the year. The first presenter, Mrs. Mindy Salzberg of Medicaid Solutions, covered the difference between Medicare and Medicaid and offered practical guidance to navigate the intricacies involved in submitting an ABD application. Mr. Dovid Miller of Ambassador Day Care then discussed the benefits of an Adult Day Care program. Medicare Insurance Specialist Mr. Shmuel Zaidman delved into the various components of Medicare as well as when and how to apply, and Mr. Samuel Lowy, a Retirement Planning Expert, rounded off the evening with a discussion of extended healthcare coverage options as well as other ways of preparing for retirement. The evening ended with a lively question and answer session where attendees directed their personal questions to the appropriate presenter. Handouts with more information regarding recommended immunizations, as well as informational materials and giveaways from each presenter were distributed.

Despite the technical nature of the materials being covered, the audience listened attentively throughout each presentation.  Although covering all aspects of these complicated topics is impossible, the audience left with a firmer grasp of the options and resources available to the local elderly population.