FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Division of Social Services (MCDSS) has partnered with Brookdale Community College to offer social services to students by having a MCDSS social worker on campus two days each week.
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, MCDSS and Brookdale leadership met to discuss the need on Brookdale’s campus for increased access to social services since many students did not know where to turn when they needed housing, food and more.
“This partnership is a very good fit for everyone,” said Christine Aumack, administrative supervisor of Social Work, Monmouth County Division of Social Services. “There was a need for a larger connection between Brookdale Community College and the Monmouth County Division of Social Services. We decided to bring our resources directly to the students by having a social worker available to them on campus, and we immediately knew Sylvina Mendez would be perfect for this role.”
Sylvina Mendez, a social worker for MCDSS, who has more than 30 years of social work experience, works at the Brookdale-Lincroft campus Veteran’s Center on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“This is a great example of just one of the ways that working with partners like Brookdale Community College can better address the human needs in our community,” said Freeholder Sue Kiley, liaison to Human Services. “Sylvina has been a great source of help and information to the students at Brookdale, and we are very proud of the program’s success. We continue to explore new ways to collaborate for the betterment of our community.”
Mendez provides students with information on how to access services such as SNAP, Medicaid, Cash Assistance programs such as TANF and GA, homeless and housing services, disability services, utility assistance, domestic violence services and support and much more. If a student does not qualify for a service, she works with them to see what their family can qualify for.
“My presence at Brookdale Community College is part of Monmouth County’s efforts to reach populations that may be in need and who are currently underserved,” said Mendez. “I have been very well received by the students and the staff at Brookdale. I think many people do not realize all the resources that people have access to through social services, so it has been exciting to be able to help so many students and their families.”
A longtime resident of Middletown, Mendez received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Monmouth University and earned her master’s degree in social work from Rutgers University. Students interested in meeting with Mendez can stop by her office on the Lincroft campus in MAC 109 or make an appointment by calling 732-224-1983 or emailing email@example.com.