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Union County and Kean Create Partnership to Bring Social Services to Students

A hallway in the Center for Academic Success at Kean University

County offers access to Department of Human Services to students on Union campus

The County of Union and Kean University have launched an innovative partnership that gives the Union County Department of Human Services a regular presence at the University, offering students access to a multitude of free and comprehensive social services and resources that they may need in order to stay focused on their academic goals. 

The Union County Department of Human Services Resource Table will operate from the first floor of the Center for Academic Success (CAS) on Kean's Union campus. Access and screening are free to all Kean University students. The partnership began August 30, and the Department of Human Services will maintain a presence twice a week on campus throughout the 2021-2022 academic year. 

“Union County is proud to offer students at Kean easy access to all that the Department of Human Services has to offer,” said Commissioner Board Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “The myriad of supportive services available ensure that students can have a successful university experience and succeed academically.”

"We know our students have what it takes to succeed in college, but sometimes they need support beyond academics to stay on track to graduation," said Kean University President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “We are grateful for the County of Union’s support and services to help our students better manage their lives outside of the classroom so they can turn their focus to their studies, graduation and their professional goals."

“As an alumnus of Kean University, I recognize how important it is for students to have easy access to services and resources available to them that facilitate the pursuit of a higher education,” said Commissioner Sergio Granados, who also serves as Liaison to the Human Services Advisory Board. “This program will bring the Department of Human Resources and all it has to offer directly to the students of Kean University, giving them an even greater foundation for academic success.”

The Department of Human Services will provide free referrals to services that can help address the needs of Kean students. Connections to critical resources needed to overcome financial barriers include: 

  • Benefits Screening – Students can learn whether they qualify for federal and state benefits, like food and nutrition programs (SNAP, WIC), health insurance (CHIP, Medicaid), cash, and utilities and transportation assistance. DHS staff can also help with applying for these benefits.
  • Tax Preparation – Free consultation with a certified tax preparer and tax filing are available to students to help them maximize tax credits and refunds.
  • Health Care Enrollment – Support for students to explore healthcare insurance options and find help with enrolling and/or renewing coverage.
  • Financial Education – Services to support students in establishing and achieving financial goals with guidance in budgeting, banking, credit counseling and debt management.
  • Legal Counseling – On-site experts can provide guidance with public benefits, housing, utilities, employment and immigration issues.
  • Referral Services – DHS staff will connect students with additional on-campus and external services and resources.

Students can meet with DHS staff while they are on campus and if necessary, they can also schedule an on-campus appointment during times when DHS isn’t scheduled to be on site. Students wishing to meet with a DHS staff member to discuss social services and eligibility can request an appointment by calling the DHS Action Line at (888) 845-3434. 

The Union County Department of Human Services (DHS) provides and administers a broad range of federal, state, county and grant-funded services to all Union County residents.

For more information about the Department of Human Services, visit online at ucnj.org/human-services or contact the DHS Action Line at (888) 845-3434 or (908) 558-2288 for rapid, personal assistance with any question, complaint or concern about services provided by the Union County Department of Human Services. An email option is also available at DHSaction@ucnj.org