WINIFRED CANRIGHT HOUSE
615 First Avenue
Asbury Park, New Jersey 07712
Phone: (732) 988-0260
Fax: (732) 988-0264

Winifred Canright House provides transitional housing, healthcare and supportive services to homeless men.  Program stays are normally nine months to one year, however a client may reside at the program for up to two years if necessary or until they are able to become self-sufficient and acquire suitable permanent housing.

Services are provided on a daily basis for up to eighteen eligible clients.  Program staff maintains working relationships with referring agencies, interviewing prospective clients and maintaining a waiting list.  Upon admission, the Case Manager conducts initial interviews with the client to assess their immediate needs and obtain records from the referring agency.  Within two weeks of admission, a medical and social needs-assessment is conducted and a Program Plan is in place.  Program Plans include budgeting issues, substance use treatment, mental health counseling, transportation needs, employment (if feasible, determined on a client by client basis), medical needs and long-term housing options.  If, for medical reasons, employment is not obtainable, the Case Manager aids the client in applying for monies elsewhere (social security, disability, HOPWA, etc.).  The Program Plan includes long and short-term goals with the overall goal for each client to become self-sufficient and to obtain suitable permanent housing.  During their stay, clients can receive nursing services, attend group counseling and meet weekly with their Case Manager to review their progress and identify any new needs or discuss any other issues that either deem necessary.  Family counseling is arranged on an as-needed basis.

On a regular basis, program staff networks with local and statewide groups and  housing coalition meetings in Monmouth County.  Additionally, staff maintains relationships with local NA and AA representatives to ensure the continuance of client participation both at the program and off-site.

ASBURY PARK — People kept coming in the door Tuesday to see a new resource center to help ex-offenders at the Shore. And one of those who showed up was Kevin Elliott, 33, hoping to get some information about finding a new job.

Elliott, who lives in the city and is a local Pop Warner football coach, grew up in Neptune and graduated from Irvington High School in Essex County. He has served time in prison on drug charges but got himself into the six-month Turning Point drug rehabilitation program in Secaucus, which he said changed his life.

"On Oct. 28, it will be 18 months of being clean from using and selling," Elliott said, in the office of the new Monmouth County Resource Center at 615 First Ave.

He has worked construction and odd jobs mainly and said he planned to return to the center when there would be more time to talk to a case manager, since Tuesday was an open house.

The center opened to clients Sept. 15. A second resource center will open on Clifton Avenue in Lakewood within the month, said Kristen McGuire, senior case manager in Asbury Park.

The Asbury Park re-entry program has offices at the Winifred Canright House, a transitional housing program. And that program is one of many to address ex-offenders, domestic abuse victims, the homeless and people living with HIV/AIDS run by the New Jersey Association on Correction (NJAC).

"We maintain housing listings, a job listing and we're going to have groups meeting to figure out how to talk about having a record with potential employers," McGuire said. "We provide a mailing address, telephone access, everything is free."

Clients also can get help with identification documents and appropriate medical or mental health care.

The new centers in Asbury Park and Lakewood are being patterned after the Middlesex County Resource Center, which has operated in New Brunswick since 1981. There also are re-entry centers in Newark, Camden and Paterson.

"Kristen and her team are going to do the footwork for the clients," said Tiffany Chavis, case manager at the New Brunswick center. "A lot of people are discouraged by their (own) background and feel they'll be judged before a person even meets them."

People kept coming in the door Tuesday to see a new resource center to help ex-offenders at the Shore. And one of those who showed up was Kevin Elliott, 33, hoping to get some information about finding a new job.

Elliott, who lives in the city and is a local Pop Warner football coach, grew up in Neptune and graduated from Irvington High School in Essex County. He has served time in prison on drug charges but got himself into the six-month Turning Point drug rehabilitation program in Secaucus, which he said changed his life.

"On Oct. 28, it will be 18 months of being clean from using and selling," Elliott said, in the office of the new Monmouth County Resource Center at 615 First Ave.

He has worked construction and odd jobs mainly and said he planned to return to the center when there would be more time to talk to a case manager, since Tuesday was an open house.

The center opened to clients Sept. 15. A second resource center will open on Clifton Avenue in Lakewood within the month, said Kristen McGuire, senior case manager in Asbury Park.

The Asbury Park re-entry program has offices at the Winifred Canright House, a transitional housing program. And that program is one of many to address ex-offenders, domestic abuse victims, the homeless and people living with HIV/AIDS run by the New Jersey Association on Correction (NJAC).

"We maintain housing listings, a job listing and we're going to have groups meeting to figure out how to talk about having a record with potential employers," McGuire said. "We provide a mailing address, telephone access, everything is free."

Clients also can get help with identification documents and appropriate medical or mental health care.

The new centers in Asbury Park and Lakewood are being patterned after the Middlesex County Resource Center, which has operated in New Brunswick since 1981. There also are re-entry centers in Newark, Camden and Paterson.

"Kristen and her team are going to do the footwork for the clients," said Tiffany Chavis, case manager at the New Brunswick center. "A lot of people are discouraged by their (own) background and feel they'll be judged before a person even meets them." 

"The center provides them with resources and also gives them confidence when they see people are willing to help them," Chavis said. "They let their guard down a little."

William Robinson is a case manager who will work with McGuire in Asbury Park; Joe Masini is a case manager now in Asbury Park who will go to Lakewood once it opens.

James Hemm, Executive Director of NJAC, based in Trenton, said Tuesday that the new centers were made possible by his organization receiving an extra $238,000 in federal stimulus funding, above the normal $196,000 grant from the state Department of Community Affairs Community Service Block Grant program that funds the New Brunswick center and a transitional housing program in Paterson.

People who have been to jail or prison are the primary target population of the Monmouth County center but the door is open to all people in need. It is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

McGuire, a licensed social worker, said she graduated last May with her master's in social work from Monmouth University. She saw a great need in the ex-offender field.

"It's a stigmatized population and it's people I'd like to work with," McGuire said. "If they come here, we try to help them get past that."

According to the center's literature, the New Jersey Department of Corrections releases 13,000 offenders into the community each year. The group says Research has shown that 67 percent of those released from prison return to prison for committing crimes within three years.

NJAC evolved from two earlier groups concerned about treatment of prisoners in county jails and other issues in the late 1950s.