History

In 1988, a group of faith-based congregations assembled from throughout Monmouth County to address the issue of homelessness.

From that first meeting, Interfaith Neighbors was born.

1988: When Interfaith Neighbors was founded, we concentrated our efforts on helping low-income families by providing subsidies to help them avoid delinquency, foreclosure, or eviction. Support now ranges from one-time rental payments, ongoing monthly rental or mortgage assistance paid directly to landlords or mortgage holders in support of working families facing short-term financial setbacks.

1991: Interfaith Neighbors began operating the Monmouth County Senior Meals program. This program provides nutritious meals to seven senior citizen congregate sites across Monmouth County, and delivers approximately 1,100 meals each day to disabled and homebound seniors over the age of 60.

1996: Interfaith Neighbors began a partnership with New Jersey Natural Gas to renovate abandoned houses and build new affordable homes in Asbury Park and Neptune Township, thus turning vacant lots into affordable homes for first-time, low income home owners and putting these properties back on the municipality’s tax rolls and improving neighborhoods.

2007: IFN had a plan approved by the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA) under the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program (NRTC) to revitalize the West Side of Asbury Park. The NRTC project seeks to support the existing community by revitalizing housing, supporting social programs, encouraging business growth and helping to build a strong community.

2011: The Business Development Center (BDC) was established to help entrepreneurs grow their current businesses or start new ones. The BDC offers a combination of business support services and incubator facilities. Mentoring is provided by experienced volunteers to help aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams.

2013: The Kula Café Training Program opened as a social enterprise addressing high unemployment and the lack of workforce training available in the Asbury Park area.  Training and skills development take place in a working eatery, giving neighbors the opportunity to help participants learn marketable skills while enjoying good food at a fair price.

2014: Opening in 2014, the Kula Urban Farm was developed to address the shortage of fresh, affordable produce in the Asbury Park community.  This social enterprise is designed to meet the needs of restaurant owners for locally grown produce, while simultaneously providing a bridge back to employment for local residents with jobs offered at the farm.  The Kula Urban Farm also offers opportunities for community engagement through youth education and adult workshops.

Our Founding Congregations

Without the support of our founding congregations and their commitment to those we serve, Interfaith would not have grown into an agency of nearly 50 employees with eight distinct programs that serve thousands of families throughout Monmouth County.

  • St. Mary’s Church, Deal
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Asbury Park
  • St. Jerome Roman Catholic Church, West Long Branch
  • Monmouth Reform Temple, Tinton Falls
  • Tower Hill First Presbyterian Church of Red Bank
  • First United Methodist Church, Oakhurst
  • Church of St. Anselm, Wayside

The Interfaith Neighbors Network