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Newark, New Jersey

Contact Information

If you, your business, or organization are interested in becoming a part of the Disability Initiative Workgroup, please contact Peter Stahl of Community Enterprises Corporation VITA at [email protected].

If you are already a member of the Disability Initiative Workgroup and have questions regarding the IRS participation, then please contact Arlene Harper at [email protected].

Disability Initiative Workgroup

Community Enterprises Corporation (CEC), a subsidiary of Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey (CSP-NJ), sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites across New Jersey in 2008 and 2009, offering free tax services and asset building opportunities to persons with disabilities and their families. In addiiton to the tax services CEC has offered a range of asset building services since 2002 (including Individual Development Accounts, Savings Programs and a bill paying service.   In 2008 and 2009 CEC collaborated with SPEC representatives, for recruiting and training qualified volunteers, and collaboratively working to administer the site.   CEC VITA Site collaboration is with Novadebt of Freehold NJ 07728.     

CEC is a community development entity (CDE) and a public housing authority (PHA), partnering with CSP-NJ, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the State Division of Mental Health Services, and the State Department of Community Affairs in bringing affordable supported housing and accessible supported financial services to the people we serve in New Jersey. CEC and its parent CSP-NJ have over 20 years experience in providing a range of flexible services for people who are living in poverty and with psychiatric disabilities and other special needs. We are very familiar with the issues and look to bring the people we support back into the mainstream as a way to improving their economic situation. We have done this with the help of DMHS through the creation and delivery of a full range of financial services including a Financial Management   Account to help people manage their money and pay their bills, a selection of matched savings accounts to help people develop and accumulate savings including investment in a productive asset through an Individual Development Account (IDA), a zero interest micro loan program to help people get through emergencies without liquidating assets, and through a VITA Site to help people pay their taxes and claim their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The VITA program is one very important first step in helping people who have chosen to avoid taking or not knowing their responsibility for their taxes to get back and be proud of their new found freedom in being a taxpayer and to also receive the credits due to them as a low income wage earner. CEC and CSP-NJ use VITA as a way to now talk with and educate people about budgeting, saving and investing to create asset building opportunities that will create wealth. These services are all provided free of charge.

A partnership with United Way is expected to provide additional volunteers, additional widespread advertising and additional cooperation with its partner not-for-profit agencies in Monmouth County. This partnership and additional United Way partnerships throughout the state will be sought on an ongoing basis. CSPNJ is also expanding its partnerships with other mental health agencies in New Jersey through its economic development low-income community development credit union (CDCU) initiative   for people with psychiatric disabilities and special needs. The CDCU initiative has gained support of a variety of social service organizations including the Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ), the New Jersey Association of Mental Health Agencies (NJAMHA) and Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services of Elizabeth New Jersey. This initiative is planned for early 2010. The VITA program will be a big part of the financial services, asset building and education offered by the CDCU.