With a tremendous amount of hope and determination, for over twenty-five years, HomeFront has been making immeasurable efforts to combat the immense poverty spreading throughout the Mercer County area. The origin of such good deeds — a motel located on Route 1 (Trenton Freeway).
In 1991, founder and CEO of HomeFront, Connie Mercer, began her journey of diminishing poverty when she was taken to a motel to witness the detrimental effects and conditions that poverty had casted upon the many families forced to live there. What she had witnessed that day, she could have not prepared for. The sight of families suffering from an over-aged hunger and children playing within the motel’s concrete parking lot without toys changed Mercer’s life forever.
Recognizing the necessity of these families, Mercer was committed to changing their circumstances. She began the reconstruction within a small kitchen, with the help of family and friends, by preparing meals for the families. Providing an abundance of meals, the small group that Mercer had formed realized that their efforts were just one small step toward their overarching goal of helping impoverished families become self sufficient. With this realization, HomeFront came to be, for Mercer and her group of volunteers expanded their work with the addition of free educational, career, and housing assistance.
Remaining persistent and continuing to extend help to many more impoverished families, those of HomeFront instilled within themselves a strong mindset, believing that, “this problem might actually disappear,” said HomeFront’s Community Engagement Coordinator Suki Wasserman. With the help of multiple local agencies, volunteers, financial contributions, and staff, HomeFront has grown to extend their services across the Mercer County Region and has been able to support families in attaining success.
Recently, in June of 2019, the organization celebrated three grand triumphs made by the children, teens, and adults associated with HomeFront. On June 27, by studying in the classrooms of the HomeFront Family Campus, ten participants of HomeFront’s Adult Hire Expectation program received their New Jersey State High School Equivalency Diplomas. Also celebrated in June was the graduation of both HomeFront associated preschool and high school students from high schools such as Trenton Central, Nottingham, Hopewell, and Princeton. By delivering high quality education to HomeFront affiliates, the organization is assuring that those who they help have a greater chance of maintaining financial stability in the future, another step toward alleviating and preventing homelessness.
Day by day, HomeFront continues to extend a helping hand to those in need. As summer has begun and school is not in session, HomeFront recognizes that many children suffer from hunger due to the lack of school lunches. Due to this, HomeFront has established two food pantries in which they collect and store non-perishables to provide throughout the community.
Each year, HomeFront manages to help approximately 29,000 families. “We have a very committed community that will help us … help families become self-sufficient,” said Wasserman. For more information about ways in which you can help, visit www.homefrontnj,org or call (609)-989-9417×103.