MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Middletown Township Committee has made a commitment to directly connect residents in need with local charitable organizations that can lend a helping hand.
They cemented that commitment with a resolution adopted at the December meeting called the Faith-Based Initiative. The resolution outlines the township’s intent to serve as a conduit between residents and faith-based and charitable organizations that provide assistance with everything from storm recovery to substance abuse services to household finance.
The quality and depth of services provided by non-governmental groups were readily apparent after Superstorm Sandy when many faith-based and charitable organizations stepped up to help residents recover from the historic event. “It was mind blowing to see what charitable organizations can accomplish without the yoke of government regulation,” said Committeeman Gerard P. Scharfenberger, who is spearheading the project. “We want to harness their energy and direct it at residents in need.”
“Town Hall is often the first place residents will turn for help. At a time when government is trying to cut costs without impacting services, it makes sense to connect our residents with organizations that already provide needed services instead of trying to duplicate them in-house,” said Mayor Stephanie C. Murray.
“An army of over 1,500 volunteers already make everything from youth recreation to fire services possible in Middletown, volunteerism is a hallmark of our town. This initiative will dovetail perfectly with that tradition,” added Mayor Murray.
The township plans in 2015 to determine which departments are best suited to take on the challenge. The project will include identifying faith-based and charitable organizations capable of collaborating with the township, inventorying available services, and developing a reliable mechanism to connect residents in need with these organizations, Scharfenberger said.
“There is a significant number of charitable organizations in our area with a well-documented history of success when it comes to securing goods and services for people with little or no administrative costs. In many cases they can provide more efficient and far-reaching services than we realistically can provide within the confines of the municipal budget,” Scharfenberger said. “We are looking forward to collaborating with these organizations to better serve our residents.”