HomeSharing Inc Working to Eradicate Homelessness in NJ
Lisa Blum, LCSW, Ph. D., Executive Director of HomeSharing, Inc., explains how the organization is helping to prevent homelessness in Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Somerset, and Union counties and the Montclair area by providing housing to vulnerable residents.
"We are pleased to be joined by Doctor Lisa Blum, executive director of Homesharing, Inc. How you doing, doctor? Fine thank you. For those who do not know what Homesharing, Inc. is, you would say? Our mission is to create affordable housing solutions by matching people who need to share their homes in order to remain in them, with people looking for affordable housing in the community. Who is looking? Who potentially could help them? Well, basically we have two groups of people that we help. So the first are what we call home providers. Providers and seekers, right? Providers and seekers. Break that down for us. Okay, so providers are somebody that either own a home, or rent an apartment... Right. That need either extra money or services in order to stay in that home. And seekers are people that can't afford the housing in central Jersey, and need a more affordable solution. Break down the seekers, do they fall into... I hate to say "categories" but are there certain people that are in certain kinds of situations for certain reasons that they're seeking? Needing? Well, I would say both our typical provider and our typical seeker, the typical provider is an older adult on a fixed income, who's faced with increasing taxes, and inability to pay, or starting to have some care needs and still wants to remain in their home. The typical seeker is usually somebody that has experienced a job or relationship change and doesn't have as much income for necessities as they did in the past. So that could be somebody that's post divorce, laid off from a job, things like that. What happens? But... I'm sorry for interrupting. What happens? How do you match them? How do we match them? Yeah, that's if people are sitting there going "sounds great, how do you match them?" And that's the important thing to remember about homesharing, it's not just taking a list of names of people who need a place and people who have a place and matching them. Right. It's a pretty intense process with a lot of vetting along the way. So the first thing that happens is they either call us or stop into our office, which is located in Bridgewater, and get screened for... By the way, your information's up there right now so people can go... Perfect. Sorry for interrupting. People... the reason we're in this business is to share important information. Go on the site, get information now, go ahead I'm sorry doctor. Okay. So we screen them, find out what their needs are, how much they either need to have in income for their homes or what they can afford to pay any other people in their household..."