Investors Bank Awards Family & Children’s Service $2,500 Grant
LONG BRANCH – Investors Bank recently awarded Family & Children’s Service (FCS) a $2,500 grant to support the agency’s efforts to reduce homelessness in New Jersey through the expansion of its financial management program, Representative Payee.
For the past 14 years, FCS has been designated an “Organizational Representative Payee” by the Social Security Administration, allowing it to manage the funds of beneficiaries who, due to mental or physical disabilities, are incapable of managing their own finances. Typical
Representative Payee (or Rep Payee) clients are referred to FCS by a caseworker or medical professional after having continuously exhausted their funds and routinely losing their housing. The program has been proven effective in breaking the cycle of homelessness.
FCS CEO Delly Beekman said in the past two years the Rep Payee program has experienced a more than 50 percent increase in the number of people it serves. The agency currently assists more than 650 clients, with an additional 20 or more individuals being referred to the program each month.
“Growing this program goes to the heart of our mission to provide compassionate care, intervention and education to support people during challenging times in their lives,” Beekman said. “So many people in our state would be positively affected by participation in Rep Payee. We are grateful to Investors Bank for recognizing this and supporting us in our mission.”
Once a client is accepted into the Rep Payee program, FCS works closely with the individual and his or her caseworker to prepare a budget to maximize funds and ensure that all monthly expenses are covered, from food and clothing to housing and utilities. In addition, FCS routinely arranges
payment plans for past due debts and negotiates rental agreements on behalf of clients.
Program manager Susan Thiers said it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
“There is a level of cooperation and willingness on the part of creditors and landlords to negotiate increases when a Rep Payee is involved,” Thiers said. “The creditors know they will be paid and the clients receive more favorable terms.”
Thiers said the program also has been shown to reduce clients’ inpatient and emergency hospitalization, decrease their substance abuse, reduce their victimization related to money and improve their overall quality of life.
For more information about Family & Children’s Service and its Representative Payee Program, visit www.fcsmonmouth.org.