March 13, 2020
I hope this message finds you healthy and safe in this anxious time. As our community feels turned upside down by the very real threat of the coronavirus, I wanted to share some updates about HomeFront operations. Instead of starting with what has changed, I want to start with what has NOT changed – our commitment to families in need.
Right now at HomeFront:
  • Our HomeFront Family Campus remains open and vibrant for the families in residence and we are making preparations in the event that schools and other services are unavailable during this time.
  • Our many housing programs are running uninterrupted with enhanced support to ensure that our families have up-to-date information, cleaning supplies, and resources.
  • Our Food Pantries and Diaper Resource Center are stocking up, reaching out to vulnerable families, and making extraordinary efforts to make sure all families have the supplies they need if they are forced to isolate.
  • Our homelessness prevention and eviction prevention programs are continuing to operate. We anticipate an increased need for these services as families are put out of work.
However, like you, we are taking sensible precautions given the recommendations from public health professionals.
Effective immediately, HomeFront is taking the following immediate steps:
  • All case managers and client support services will be accessible by phone to limit in-person visits. To reach HomeFront for help, please call 609-989-9417 instead of visiting in person.
  • We have suspended volunteer groups and visitors to all HomeFront sites.
  • We are dedicated to providing food, diapers, and other basic necessities to families in need. Until further notice, these services will be provided through the side dock entrance at 1880 Princeton Ave, Lawrenceville. The main lobby and front desk will be closed.
  • Our Donation Center at 1880 Princeton Ave will only be accepting the most critically needed items like non-perishable foods, diapers, and baby formula. A list of the most needed items is below. There will be a self-service donation reception area; we love our donors and their generosity but will be generally unable to unload donations and thank each donor personally. We cannot accept donations of furniture, clothing, housewares, and other items at this time, either as pickups or drop-offs.
  • Our FreeStore and Furnish the Future programs will be suspended until further notice. If you are in critical need of items provided by the FreeStore or Furnish the Future, please contact the phone number above.
  • Several upcoming HomeFront events will be postponed or re-imagined: stay tuned for more details on ArtJam and the Women’s Initiative Luncheon.
We have been overwhelmed by how many generous people have reached out to ask how they can help HomeFront families during this crisis. Even while people are focusing on keeping their own families safe and healthy, there has been great concern for families in need.
Here’s how you can help:
  • Follow all public health recommendations on handwashing, social distancing, and precautions. We keep our community safer and healthier if we all do our part!
  • If you are already out shopping for necessities or are able to shop online, consider a donation of our most needed items: diapers (sizes 4, 5, 6 and Pull-Ups/Easy Ups in all sizes), baby wipes, canned goods (protein like chicken/tuna, ravioli, beef stew, soup, and fruit), baby formula, dry cereal, and shelf stable milk (Horizon/Natrel/Parmalat or powdered milk). Online shipments can be delivered to 1880 Princeton Ave, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. We are keeping an Amazon wish list updated at http://bit.ly/HFMarch20Items (but please be patient because items are going out of stock online quickly!)
  • HomeFront has already spent over $25,000 in unanticipated and unbudgeted expenses related to preparations for COVID-19 – and we only expect those costs to rise as our families are directly affected. There are many worthy non-profits that will be doing important work throughout this crisis and we encourage you to be as generous to them as you are able. As you consider your charitable giving during this time, please keep us in mind. To make a donation, please visit www.homefrontnj.org/donate or call 609-989-9417 x 107.
We will continually monitor the evolving situation and make additional adjustments as necessary. Keep an eye out for future updates or follow us on social media for additional information. Please email homefront@homefrontnj.org or call at 609-989-9417 if you have any questions.
Yours truly,
Connie Mercer
HomeFront Founder & CEO