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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Homefront Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Shelters, Housing Development, Construction & Management, International

Mission: This year saw the start of the development of the new homefront family campus homeless

Programs: Prevention/emergency services: emergency shelter-: family preservation center(short-term shelter for 40 families & 10 single women who build the skills to become self-sufficent & gain permanent housing); freshstart (short-term housing for homeless working poor families, we assist with securing permanent housing while providing intensive case management); huchet house(residential program for homeless pregnant women who are connected with medical services & acquire the skills to be effective, loving & self-sufficent mothers) homelessness prevention; provides funds for back rent/mortgage/utilities & security deposits to enable county residents at risk of eviction to maintain their housing. Over $464,000 was issued during the last fiscal year. The resource network: provides very low income families with the tools they need to establish a life with dignity. During our last fiscal year, over $4,193,292 in donated goods & services was distributed including furnish the future (furniture & appliances) & the freestore (clothing/household items)

client support services: employment-focused skills building: homefront recognizes that the basic foundation for independence is education and employment. Our opportunities for our clients are always growing and today include: high school equivalency classes and testing, microsoft office training and certification, trade skills training, employment readiness training and job placement counseling, micro-business crafting through our artspace and sewing space programs, advice on how to become invol

housing: it soon became clear to us that providing services and programs alone only addressed one side of the crisis faced by the homeless and low income families of mercer county. Without access to safe and affordable housing, there can be no home. We are dedicated to the development of affordable service-enriched housing for low income families; as well as to the provision of transitional housing, where families can build their skills as they prepare to move into permanent housing. Our housing

Community Stories

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Like others who have shared their HomeFront experiences here, I have been involved with this excellent organization dating back to when it was known as the Princeton Exchange Club. My wife and I have supported HomeFront by volunteering our time, as well as by making annual financial contributions.

More recently, for over a year, I have been volunteering one day each week as a tutor of basic English grammar and composition at HomeFront’s Family Preservation Center in Ewing, helping to prepare women enrolled in HomeFront’s WorkFirst program to take—and pass—New Jersey’s General Educational Development (GED) exam, the equivalent of earning a high school diploma. While the English component of that exam focusses on the preparation of an original essay, graders take into account proper English usage, and the test also contains a series of multiple choice questions from which candidates must select the one correct answer in each instance.

I have found that many of the women with whom I have worked can pick out the correct answer from among five options, while most don’t know why their selection is the right one. Though I typically only get to work with each woman for two hours, with few exceptions, I have found that they emerge with a much improved understanding of the underlying precepts of our sometimes confusing language, better equipping them for the GED exam and whatever challenges they might face in their subsequent working environment.

2 aciemnecki

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Most of the children gathered around me and wanted to be my friend, when I first came to Wednesday night tutoring. I felt smothered by all the attention. A few of the children were a little frightened of me, because I was not like the others. I am a lot shorter, a whole lot hairier and I do not speak much. I especially like when the children read to me. I am very persnickety when children read. I like to listen carefully and NO ONE is allowed to talk when a child is reading (except me, of course, and I never do). I just curl up on my blanket and enjoy the books and the love the children have to offer. As the school year goes on, everyone reads to me. The ones who were afraid of me at first just said hello from a distance and soon they were reading. The reluctant readers became more confident. The good readers became better readers. I cannot wait until tutoring begins again in October. I will see my old friends and make new ones. I will help children be confident readers and learn to love books. I am . . .
Bessie, the therapy dog, in the Read-to-the-Dog Program

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I started volunteering for homefront when I was a high school sophmore, thursday night at kinship became part of my regular routine! I really loved being with the kids and the other regular volunteers! I started off volunteering there alone but later on I met some really great friends and my best friend from school joined which made the experience even better! Homefront allowed me to volunteer whenever I could and on extremely short notice which I really enjoyed! My sister and I also bonded more together and with the kids! Homefront was an experience like no other and I intend to keep it a part of my life :D

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learnt about Homefront more or less 10 years ago when my son played hockey with HomeFront founder Connie Mercer's son. We would sit in the bleachers during hockey games, talking about the wonderful work that goes on at HomeFront. It quickly became my place of choice to volunteer as the vision of its leader was so clear and real, I could not imagine her not making it the success that it is today - a neighborhood company with a presence much larger than life and a solid reputation with local schools, churches, synagogues, individuals and companies, all knowing that when they donate to HomeFront,, that their donations will hit right at home where the need is most urgent. HomeFront has such a clear and honest mission of ending homelessness, that it is no surprise that the organization has one of the most extensive and all-encompassing processes in place to help the less fortunate back on their feet. And this is all done in an environment of incredible respect for every client of HomeFront's needs, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may be. After volunteering in various areas of this organization, including fundraising, resume-writing, Free Store organization and tutoring areas, I discovered the ArtSpace art therapy group at the Family Preservation Center, a beautiful facility on the Katzenbach School's campus. This was like finding a small part of heaven on earth, as HomeFront clients can come here and express themselves through art and poetry in ways that cannot even begin to explain the potential for healing that can happen here. The art that comes from the lives and experiences of the artists have brought many moments of awe to me and people that pass through those doors at the shelter. The art is extremely honest, real and fresh, and have become a real window into the hearts of the clients of HomeFront. Once a year we have a full fundraiser for ArtSpace called ArtJam, where the art is exhibited and sold in a gallery setting in Princeton. As opportunities arise, the art is also exhibited at other locations such as coffee shops, libraries, and artist network venues, always with great appreciation for the stories that are told by the art, and knowing that a life will be changed by this public display of respect and the ultimate gift of buying a piece of art from an ArtSpace client ! HomeFront truly takes the desperation out of homelessness by giving its clients a solid chance at restoring their own lives in a dignified environment with total support by offering an array of services that covers the full spectrum of what a person needs to be a productive part of a community. HomeFront restores lives and families, and gives people in desperate stages of their lives the fighting chance they need to get back on their feet. This community is so blessed to have an organization like HomeFront inside its borders, and it all started with a woman that did not turn a blind eye to the problems of her community. Thanks Connie, for your heart, your clear vision, and passion to make HomeFront the Lifesaver that it is today !

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My relationship with Home Front has grown over the years. Initially it was donating excess clothes and furnishings from my home, helping with events for HomeFront at my church and collecting the neighbor’s unsold items from our annual neighborhood sales. I have always admired how Home Front has grown, responded to the needs of the community and not shy about growing in new ways. ArtSpace , at the Preservation Center an example of that. It is a creative, therapeutic program that helps clients develop new ways to think and express themselves and to be able to return to society in a productive manner..

I have recently “downsized” to move to a senior community and that has opened a new relationship with Home Front. Of course, in preparation of the move, I donated many household items that I no longer need. Then I discovered ArtSpace. I had accumulated numerous art supplies over the past few years while taking art courses, some were very experimental, and would never use again, which I donated to ArtSpace. When I delivered the art materials to the Preservation Center, I was offered an opportunity to visit ArtSpace at work.. I was extremely excited when I witnessed the enthusiasm of the artists and the and the quality of their work. I am not surprised that some of the residents have become professional artists.
Also during this time, RuthAnn Taylor, the director of ArtSpace, started a very successful sewing program that became another means of expression. That started a new phase in my relationship with Home Front. In the senior community where I live, I found that many residents no longer need, or are interested in sewing although they still had closets full of sewing materials. I offer a service to them by cleaning out their closets and delivering it to ArtSpace The seniors are delighted to be rid of such things and pleased that it is going to a good cause. I thought I had completed that phase of my attention to Home Front, but that does not seem to be the case. As I write this, I have promises of yet more sewing materials from at least 2 more seniors, and a former neighbor, and from a Museum that has excess fabrics that also will donated to ArtSpace.

That’s what it is like to work with HomeFront/ArtSpace. I have an opportunity to “spread the word” and
to continue the mission of eliminating homeless in our community.
Thank You for that opportunity.
Helen Lee

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Homefront organization for 10 years on many fronts. I'm a hairstylist and salon owner and have serviced their clients and employees to make them feel beautiful inside and out.
It has been a life changing experience for me to work with Homefront and to be involved with volunteering with many of their programs. I had an Uncle and currently have a cousin who have experienced first hand the life of homelessness and this is a way for me to give back on a local level.
Thank you Homefront for ALL that you do!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We heard about homefront from friends. the thought of families being homeless 3 miles from our home was shocking to our 3 young boys. we started volunteering and helping in small ways. What we all admire about Homefront and its staff is their compasion, passion and commitment to helping others. The other thing that strikes me is how they also stress the importance of ending the cycle of poverty as well ensurring clients keep their diginity. Over and over again I see their team encourage women to find their voices and learn the tools to become independant. I love the Arts Space and how it has grown. The preservation center is beautiful, bright and clean. Paintings and encouragement everywhere. Considering what they have to work with it is a very postive place. I was there today with some friends who want to get more involved. One of the tutors was grinning from ear to ear because his student was ready to go for her GED. Another women was visiting before she goes back to Tufts as a rising sophmore. She was a client at Homefront 5 years ago and has a full scholarship. What I love about Homefront is they give hope not only to homeless women and children but to all of us!!!!!!! xoxo

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Homefront is a life changing organization for the mothers and their children who rely on this organization. Homefront is a life changing organization for the volunteers who help out. Make a difference in your life and for a mom and her family's life by being part of Homefront.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a Rider Bonner Community Scholar and I volunteer at the HomeFront Family Preservation Center in the evenings during the school year. I usually assist with programs for the elementary-aged children and my favorite night of the week is Tuesdays for Mr. Chris's Fitness Night! Mr. Chris is an awesome guy who really knows how to connect with the kids and they all look forward to the fun activities that he has planned for them each week. When the older kids are not on site, I would serve in the Childcare center with the little ones. The Childcare staff is a wonderful group that truly cares about each and every child that walks through the door. The staff at FPC has made me feel like a welcomed and appreciated volunteer and I have enjoyed serving there for the past two years. I look forward to another great year ahead!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Me, my daughter, and my son started volunteering as computer teachers at a weekly computer class for children. We would give one hour of educational games and the last half hour would be free time. Throughout this experience, I have met many wonderful children and gotten to know them. This wonderful organization gave me and my children the opportunity to be involved in our community. We look forward to going every week and meeting and working with the kids.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have led groups of high school students to volunteer at Homefront through Helene Cody Foundation. The emphasis is respect and modeling positive behaviors. The experience of volunteering benefits the clients and the volunteers. Homefront provides a valuable resource.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church has been working with HomeFront for over 15 years. We support their programs though furniture and clothing donations, meals for various programs, a weekly tutoring program, amd involvement with other one-time efforts. We have interacted with many, many of the HomeFront staff and found them all compassionate and dedicated. HomeFront truly acts on its mission of ending homelessness in Mercer County. As volunteers, we receive more than we give!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After retiring from the Air Force after 26 years of service in May 2012, I was looking to continue service to a noble mission during my transition from military service to a new career. I began volunteering once a week--sometimes more--with Homefront beginning in August 2012. I mostly worked in the food pantry receiving food deliveries, stocking shelves, and preparing bagged groceries for our clients. Our regular volunteer crew on Thursdays worked hard, but it was rewarding work.

After being recently employed, it's more difficult for me to find the time to volunteer. But when I do, it's great. It's great because of the selfless citizens who work--and volunteer--at Homefront. Connie runs a great program and our Volunteer Coordinator, Stephanie, was a pleasure to work with too. Homefront is one of those organizations that plays a critical role for Mercer County families who need an occasional helping hand. If you want to do some quality work and enjoy a great experience with some really fabulous people, volunteer at Homefront. You won't be disappointed.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I can't believe it has been a year since I started volunteering for HomeFront in their Food Pantry. The time has flown by. I help out twice a week and work with a great group of people. I have enjoyed working with the dedicated HomeFront staff.


HomeFront is a wonderful organization that helps the community on so many different levels. I am proud to be part of the HomeFront team!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Home Front volunteer for almost 5 years. I started out doing the minimum, and soon signed on for more hours, (2 half days per week) because I was so impressed with the good work that they do in the community. The need is great, and so is the help, and respect that they give to all who walk in the door.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for HomeFront in their Food Pantry for almost 2 years. At first I was just going to help out once in a while but as time went by and I got to know the staff and realized how dedicated they are, I realized what a fantastic job this organization does. It is sad that an organization like this has to exist but it is so good to know that they do.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I currently live at homefront and they have helped me in alot of ways. I have been at homefront for 3 months and the staff welcomed me and my son with open arms. The hepled us with things that youldnt even imagine. I attended all of the classes and graduated, they made it so that when i move my place will feel like a home. When I came to homefront all we had was the clothes on our backs. Now we have alot of clothes and other things. My son as alot of clothes and toys... He has learned alot at their daycare center too. My son completely shut down and wouldnt talk. Mrs. Lavonda and Mrs. Alexis worked with him and now he is speaking complete sentences. I love Homefront because they helped us alot and they do things that i never even thought a shelter did to help others.... Here u can feel like you are at home.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"Respect" is the word that best describes HomeFront. All of the employees are respectful of the families they are assisting and the families, in turn, respond with the upmost gratitude. It is with humble respect that I choose to volunteer for an organization whose motivation is that of genuine concern for the families they are serving.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

HomeFront is a major focus of our church's social justice outreach program and has been for the past 15 years. We have watched HomeFront grow from a fledgling startup to a major player in the fight against homelessness in our part of New Jersey. The staff is dedicated and professional, led by a director who is tireless in her efforts to make HomeFront a force for good in the community. It's an honor to be a small part of their very effective work.

Kathy Q.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I'm a recent volunteer who helps with the phones. This is a wonderful organization with very dedicated employees. I can't say enough good things about Homefront and its mission!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked witih HomeFront for over 5 years. It's an amazing place. Client families are always treated with kindness and respect. Parents get job training and placement, GED training, parenting and life skills classes. The kids get after school activities, tutoring, sports and free summer camp. With the cuts in government funding, HomeFront staff is just working even harder to make sure that families get the help they need to become self-sufficient again. I've seen so many success stories of families who have gotten back on their feet after a couple of months of HomeFront giving them a decent place to live, help finding a job, and freedom from worry about where their kids' next meal is coming from.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Homefront in the food pantry since October. I have never met a more commiteed and dedicated group of people as those at Homefront. The organization helps many in need. I have a very good feeling when I see the clients leave with a smile. Homefront is a godsend to the community

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Since becoming a volunteer with Homefront in August of this year, I have been very impressed by the Homefront staff members and volunteers I have met and the extent of the support Homefront provides to the community. In today's challenging economy, the pressure is on for organizations such as Homefront to respond to client needs in meaningful ways. Homefront has stepped up to the plate by providing a holistic program for addressing the needs of financially challenged families. Rather than simply providing temporary shelter, Homefront takes a bigger picture approach, helping families to address some deeper issues, increasing the likelihood of a more successful future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Homefront is awesome! I've been part of the tutoring programs there for about a year and a half now, and I love it. There are a couple different programs that involve tutors, two of which I've participated in, and both were rewarding for both the tutors and kids. High schoolers like myself enjoy spending time with the homefront kids and helping them with their homework, and I think it really does help them in school. The first grader I worked with last year got a lot better at adding and learned subtracting, and I taught him time, too. Overall it's a wonderful environment for kids to have to learn and be encouraged to excel in school.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am a new volunteer. Since my first meeting with them in October, the staff has been very informative, helpful and attentive. My first volunteer event was the African sculpture fundraiser. The Project Coordinator (Heather) worked hard at putting the volunteer schedule together to ensure coverage during the entire exhibit. I participated in the November facilities tour, which was expertly led by the Founder/CEO (Connie) and was organized very well. My availability is limited (to week nights and weekends only) but the Volunteer Coordinator (Lynn) is proactively seeking out possible activities/events that fit these timeframes. I look forward to volunteering at the next activity/event.

Kelly20

Volunteer

Rating: 4

HomeFront is a GREAT organization on so many levels and gives me such a feeling of accomplishment when I am able to help them in their various fundraising campaigns. I have been a volunteer for a long time and I am always amazed at the wonderful, caring staff and all of the creative ideas they come up with - all the while helping those around us who need it the most. I am honored to be involved with HomeFront and hope that by working closely with them we see homelessness in our area eradicated for good one day soon!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered as a tutor with HomeFront about ten years ago during my senior year of high school. I haven't lived in the area since, but occasionally volunteer when I'm visiting my parents. Chris, who runs the tutoring program, actually manages to get the kids to view going to tutoring as a privilege!
My mom's office also puts on a picnic for HomeFront clients each spring, and I try to attend when I can. Through that, I've had the opportunity to interact with many HomeFront clients and hear how much they appreciate the assistance they've received. I've also met a number of former clients who are now giving back, either as HomeFront employees or volunteers.

John Goodwin

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with HomeFront as a volunteer for the last eight years, beginning as a tutor for children of homeless families through my church, and subsequently becoming more involved with different aspects of the organization as I began helping with their web site. HomeFront is amazing. It helps families is crisis. More importantly, it helps families avoid crisis now and in the future. Kids that I worked with while they were living in motels are now attending college and helping to support their younger siblings. It is wonderful to be part on such on-going miracles.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Best In New Jersey! If I were ever in trouble, I would trust the loving, compassionate and competent staff of HomeFront to help me. That is the reason why as a volunteer, I became a donor and then ultimately a Board Member. It's impossible to expeience/witness the work at HomeFront without wanting to do more to help HomeFront reach more clients. Their mission to end homelessness is but the tip of the iceberg in terms of the services provided to the families who are the clients of HomeFront.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a participant/donor in HomeFront's Back-to-School drive since my son (now a freshman in college) was in kindergarten. We would go out together and he would help me pick "cool" clothes and supplies for the child we were sponsoring. Participation became one of our family traditions. As a result, both of my children have become more connected to those in need and we frequently deliver donations to HomeFront. Both children have recruited friends for food drives for HomeFront and my son has volunteered stocking the shelves in the food pantry. My co-workers have also participated in the back-to-School drive for many years, another tradition that we look forward to. I am happy to say that this year, in spite of the economy, my office sponsored more children than any year prior. HomeFront is a conduit for the general public to participate in helping those less fortunate.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I moved to Mercer County in 1998 and learned about HomeFront through my daughters girl scout troop. This local charity provides temporary shelter to homeless people and what I liked most about the organization was that HomeFront works with a family to provide them with all their needs such as temporary housing and then transitions them to permanent housing. They also help people find jobs, prepare for interviews, provide food, provide clothing, provide daycare and camp for children so that they have a safe environment to be in during the day. My entire family volunteers throughout the year to help HomeFront raise money, we donate household items, clothes, holiday gifts, backpacks and most importantly my oldest daughter helps raise over $1000.00 each year to support a room at The Preservation Center at HomeFront which is one of the facilities that provides temporary housing for families. I see the amazing efforts of this organization every day and applaud their dedication and it gives me such pleasure to be able to see so many local families get the help they need to succeed and to transition to be able to be independent rather than always relying on others to help.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a member of the Development Committee of HomeFront, I am in a position to observe all aspects of the organization. Tackling the Catch-22 that so many working poor face (some income but not enough) head on is the key to HomeFront's success. It is the epitome of "teaching a person to fish". Their programs train their clients in all aspects of life, from job seeking skills to budgeting to parenting. Their committment goes far beyond a hand out and a place to stay for a while. They provide a solid hand grasp and a refuge where families can recoup, reassess and recover.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first got involved with HomeFront over 20 years ago when they needed help with the first Christmas party. Since that time I have volunteered serving food at the motels, helping out at the annual Christmas party which for several years included picking up and driving a family there, sorting clothes at the free store and then as a board member for 14 years during which I was the secretary for first five years. Currently I am a board member of HomeFront TLC Inc, a separate entity that buys and manages the buildings that provide emergency, temporary and permanent housing for our clients and their families. Over the last 20 years HomeFront has grown from an all volunteer army of a few to an organization with over 100 employees and 4000 volunteers. It is a very unique and special organization that has made a huge difference in the lives of thousands of homeless and working poor people in Mercer County. When I first got involved with HomeFront I was living in Middlesex county and working in Morris county. However I grew up in Lawrenceville and after living there for 23 years, HomeFront was the perfect organization that allowed me to give something back to the community. I still live in Middlesex County and have continued my involvement with HomeFront because I have found no other organization that has the breadth of programming, talent, resources and the constant mission to eliminate homelessness to make a permanent difference by getting families off of welfare enabling them to be contributing members of the community and society.

Donor

Rating: 5

HomeFront gives people the opportunity to make a real, tangible difference in the community. They not only help people get back on their feet - they make sure they will stay there, by helping them learn the skills they need to break the cycle of poverty. They provide opportunities for people of all ages to volunteer through their backpack and holiday drives - whole families can make a difference in the life of a child. We are proud to support their work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve volunteered at HomeFront for about 4 years, since I was about 11. I’ve restocked shelves at their pantry, worked at the loading dock helping people who are making donations, and helped out with the kids at HomeFront’s preschool. My favorite is working at the preschool since the kids are so happy to have me paying attention to them and playing with them. It seems to me like nobody must play with them when they are at home. My mom told me that these kid’s families are really stressed out because of being homeless, so maybe they can’t pay so much attention to their kids. HomeFront has also come to my synagogue and played the Poverty Game with us, where we divide into teams and and get pretend bills and play money, and try to pay all of our bills with not nearly enough money, so we learn how hard it is for poor people to make it. Some of the kids in my class said some really disrespectful things about poor people before they played this game, but not afterward. I really think HomeFront does a lot for poor and homeless families, and also teaches people who have money that poor and homeless people are really the same as them, just not so lucky.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been involved with HomeFront off and on for the entire twenty years of its history. I believe I wrote their first foundation proposal, back when their primary activity was delivering food to homeless families in the "welfare motels" on Route One in New Jersey. Over the years I have looked in now and then and seen the evolution of the current multi-service agency serving thousands of people in a variety of ways. Their programs provide well more than food and shelter. They put a lot of focus on education and employment both for homeless and needy parents and for their children. Their programs break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, providing these families with a new start. Their current efforts also involve preventing homelessness, rather than treating it after it occurs. In my long career working with human services agencies, I have never seen anything like HomeFront. It is one of a kind.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been associated with HomeFront for about a decade, first as a volunteer and later as a member of the Board of Trustees. What everyone needs to know about HomeFront is that it played a paramount role in emptying the motels along Route 1 of moms and children in need of emergency housing. HomeFront opened the Family Preservation Center - a "shelter" in a park like setting, which is unlike any shelter you've likely imagined. It is a safe, warm, friendly, uplifting, peaceful place where moms and their little ones are provided with private rooms, nutrious meals and an array of supportive services focused upon the children pursuing their education, as well as having fun and being provided with all kinds of opportunities, while the moms are helped along the road to self sufficiency and independence through job training, mentoring, parenting skills, GED and much much more. I am passionate about this organization because I have seen that it makes a huge difference in so many lives. I am passionate about this organization because it simply goes about its important business of serving those most in need day in and day out without a lot of fanfare - HomeFront does not talk about doing IT ACTUALLY DOES!!! I am passionate about this organization because it is staffed by women and men whose first priotity is to do whatever needs to be done - to do whatever it takes - to better the existence of our less fortunate neighbors. We are blessed to have this organization in our community.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Homefront for about 2 months now. There are so many things about Homefront that are incredibly impressive: the professional staff, the care with which they treat all their clients, visitors and each other, their ability to touch so many lives, what they are able to give, the number of people that know to contact them to help or to give, and that people know to contact them when they are in need. But what has impressed me most is how much everyone at Homefront cares! The people at Homefront give so much and care so much, you can feel it! I have worked in just a small portion of this organization and it is obvious to me that Homefront is changing lives! The depth of the organization is also incredible. They not only provide food, clothing, shelter and furniture to clients, they provide an incredible array of practical job training including computer training, resume writing and job search assistance. I look forward to being a part of Homefront for a very long time and hope to get others involved with them as well. If only we could create a million Homefronts all over!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have followed the development of Homefront since its founding about 20 years ago. It is a incredible organization that serves homeless families and those in danger of becoming homeless. It has a visionary founder/leader, Connie Mercer, and one of the most professional and talented staffs I have encountered in the nonprofit sector. It has a comprehensive approach to working with homeless families, documented processes, an active board, and a large number of dedicated volunteers. In addition to delivering high quality services, HomeFront is an advocate for eliminating the causes of homelessness. This agency has earned the respect of funders, donors, volunteers, social services professionals, and clients for responding to the needs of clients promptly, wholistically and with dignity and respect.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Recently, I have had the privilege of being selected as a new member of the HomeFront Board. I continue to be impressed by the unceasing devotion of the staff to the mission of ending homelessness in Central New Jersey by accessing resources to help clients on the path to self-sufficiency through skill development and by increasing the availability of adequate affordable housing. As part of orientation, I served as an attendant at the reception desk. The flow of those in need both via foot and phone was nothing short of incredible. Bags of food were distributed and case managers contacted. This relatively brief stint further served to reinforce the critical role HomeFront plays in seeking to improve the life circumstances of those less fortunate in our community.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HOMEFRONT INC When I retired fom a career in education and social services, I wanted to continue to do something to further the greater good of society. Volunteering at Homefront has given me that opportunity. For the past six years, I have seen the agency grow in its abililty to service the homeless families of Mercer County. I am impressed with the commitment of the staff to assist homeless families in many ways, but especially by providing them with living space (recently developed through shelters for families, pregnant women and affordable apartments) enriched with supportive services so that families can eventually become productive members of society. It is impressive how Homefront involves the client-base with its own sense of mission. I have seen a distraught mother come in with a crying child to receive assistance. Then, that same mother has come in a year later, smiling, with a donation of her child’s car seat for someone else to use. I have observed the good effect that volunteers have on each other. People who have seen others donate furniture to be shared with a family moving from a motel or a shelter into their own apartment have collected micro-wave ovens, cleaned and repaired them to distribute to these same families A 10 year old who knew his mother volunteered at Homefront donated his birthday money to Homefront. College students tutor not only children but also mothers so they can get their GED’s or learn budgeting or practice job inteviewing skills. It is unfortunate that Homefront can’t respond immediately to everyone’s request to have furniture picked up in a timely fashion but there are realistic limitations of resources and the needs of the clients. Thank you Homefront for allowing me to be a part of this giving community and for all that you do to inspire and organize the volunteers to share their lives with those less fortunate of Mercer County. Arlene Ceterski

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every time I get involved at HomeFront, I feel great! For many years I was active in the Community service activities at the middle school where I taught. This entailed writing curriculum to educate students both about the ways in which they could reach out to HomeFront's temporary homeless clients, and to realize the value to themselves and their community in having everyone in our community doing well. Because HomeFront's work is as much about helping families get back on their feet as it is to supplying them with their needs for today, the effects of this organization's work is long term. Now, having retired from teaching, I'm working as a freelance photographer. I am able to do some pro bono photography for HomeFront which is another way for me to be involved and to experience first hand the dedication of the staff and volunteers who make up the army of people on HomeFront's "front lines." We all want to make a difference in the lives of others in our community. HomeFront is an established, effective organization which allows me to feel that I do just that.

6 aaggarwal

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for Homefront, over the last ten years I have been amazed to see the impact this organization has had on the lives of the women and children it serves. I have been part of back to school back pack drives where every homeless child is able to attend the first day of school with their heads held high as they too model their new first day of school outfits and shiney school supplies.Poor working mothers, struggling to make ends meet are able to see the look of joy in their children's eyes as they open Christmas toys donated by Homefront's annual Christmas drive. The simple act of blowing out candles on a Birthday cake and opening a small gift is something we take for granted with our own children,yet homeless children may not have this important ritual were it not for Homefront's Birthday Club. These are just a very few programs at Homefront that I have had the priviledge to be a part of but I have seen so many more. Mercer county is blessed to have the Homefront family care about all it's families and I am honored to serve as a volunteer in any small way.