This past winter, the Resource Center of Somerset's Safe House experienced a problem with the furnace which resulted in the loss of heat. Since it occurred on a Sunday, the staff experienced a long and uncertain wait for the repair. The possibility of having to evacuate the client families was becoming all too real.
There were limited options at the time. One option was to relocate the clients to out of the county shelters. This could have resulted in additional trauma to the victims and their children including issues with transportation to school, work and activities such as court appearances for restraining order hearings. In addition, space at other shelters is not always available making such an option unreliable.
The other option would have been to temporarily house clients at a motel or hotel. With concerns about the lack of safety, security and confidentiality normally provided at the Safe House, both clients and staff were uncomfortable with this option.
Luckily, the heating problem was fixed and no one had to be evacuated. Nonetheless, a contingency plan had to be developed should a similar incident happen in the future. Through the Interfaith Hospitality Network, arrangements were made with area churches to provide temporary emergency shelter. The only problem, none of the churches had beds for our clients.
In February, the Resource Center submitted a request to the Hillsborough Credit Card Advisory Board to fund eight folding beds which could be used in an emergency. By April, our request was approved and we were awarded a grant for $895 to buy the beds.
The Resource Center of Somerset is grateful to Hillsborough Township and Affinity FCU, not only for their generosity but also for their concern and care for the well-being of people in the community.
Affinity Federal Credit Union and Hillsborough Township teamed up five years ago to offer a truly unique credit card. With the Hillsborough Rewards Visa Credit Card, exclusive to township residents, card holders can give back to their community-while earning rewards at the same time. Every time someone makes a purchase they support important youth and senior programs, and non-profit organizations.