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Because Everyone Deserves a Home


Homelessness is easy to spot, right? Someone sleeping next to a building wrapped in blankets, maybe with a shopping cart full of plastic bags?

And we all know why people are homeless: addiction and mental illness, right?

Maybe, yes… and so much more.

In fact, there’s a good chance that the last homeless person you saw, you never realized was homeless. They could have been dressed pretty well. You might have thought of them as a neighbor.

A neighbor? How can a neighbor be homeless?

Being “homeless” could be someone who “couch surfs” in a friend’s living room, or a couple “camping” in a car or van, or a family on an “extended stay” in a hotel room. You just can’t tell by looking at them, but know that in New Jersey, for every 100 people you see, between 1 to 2 are homeless. And then, of course, there are the thousands and thousands of families in our state, and across America, that are just one paycheck away from losing the roof over their head…

CAI-NJ is all about people living in homes, forming communities that share. Whether you share landscaping, snow removal, parking or lots more, it’s all for everyone’s greater good.

The CAI-NJ Foundation, as it forms and begins to grow in 2020, will be about sharing, too. But this time it’s sharing by CAI-NJ members giving their time, and using their talents, to make sure that every child, every adult, and every family has a place of their own to call home


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CAI-NJ Foundation?

It is the umbrella for CAI-NJ community philanthropic initiatives with a particular focus on homelessness and caring for those less fortunate. It brings the CAI-NJ communities’ strong philanthropic efforts into a sharp, mission-based focus. Our goal in 2020 is to lay the groundwork for the Foundation and set in motion initiatives and programs to support its mission.

Does the CAI-NJ Foundation have a Vision & Mission?

Yes! The vision of the CAI-NJ Foundation is that no person or family in New Jersey is homeless.

The mission of the CAI-NJ Foundation is to address homelessness through increased member engagement, stronger community partnerships, and enhanced visibility and awareness in our local community.

Is the CAI-NJ Foundation a 501c3 Charity?

No. The Foundation is an initiative of CAI-NJ – it is not a 501c3 Charity. While the CAI-NJ membership does hold fundraisers throughout the year (passing through gifts to local charities), charitable donations made directly to CAI-NJ are not tax deductible. CAI-NJ is a 501(c)6 “business league” nonprofit. As such, any donations to CAI-NJ are NOT tax deductible. If you would like to make a financial contribution to support the less fortunate in our community, we encourage you to make charitable gifts directly to this year’s Presidential Choice Charity (Covenant House).

Who will we help?

In addition to helping those who have already lost their homes, there are many ways to support individuals and families in avoiding homelessness. This includes serving vets, supporting foster children “aging out” of the system, helping elders stay in their homes, and providing assistance to the “working poor” and the many families “just one paycheck away” from being homeless. 

Is the CAI-NJ Foundation a separate legal entity?

No. It is an initiative of CAI-NJ, governed by the CAI-NJ Board of Directors.

Does the CAI-NJ Foundation make grants?

No, the CAI-NJ Foundation is not a grant-making entity.

What exactly does the CAI-NJ Foundation do?

The CAI-NJ Foundation brings us together through projects that benefit everyone – those we serve and those who serve. Our service has a three-pronged approach:

  1. President’s Choice:  Each year the Board Chair of CAI-NJ selects a charity for the CAI-NJ Foundation to support and spread awareness about. In 2020, President Jennifer Nevins selected Covenant House, an important provider of services to the state’s homeless youth.
  2. Community Partnership Projects:  Details coming soon!  
  3. Community Drives:  The CAI-NJ Foundation will galvanize our members, and people from throughout our member communities, to benefit Covenant House and other nonprofit organizations supporting those in need. In 2020 and 2021, this will include:
    • CAI-NJ Knits – Members knitting hats, scarves and more so that everyone has warm gear for those cold winter months.
    • Year-found food, clothing, and book drives – Supporting homeless individuals and families, as well as families in crisis, all year long.