Founder – Anne Ciavaglia

Paraphrased from a Facebook post by Joe Dombrowski, a longtime friend that I have had the privilege of knowing for decades. I’m forever thankful I was introduced to him by Anne.

Anne, as well as her brother Bob, were folks that I’ve always been proud to call friends. I’ll miss you both.

On Friday, January 21st, Joe wrote…

Last night our world lost an extremely kind sole, Anne Ciavaglia McMahon. I’ve lost a truly amazing friend! RIP Anne. I hope you and Bob Ciavaglia, Mom, Dad and Grandma are all up there running and dancing.

Our New Journey Families Need Your Support

Greetings Friends!

We at Our New Journey are very proud of our success in helping caregivers since our inception in 2007. With success, comes a greater demand from families in need of temporary financial support.

Our New Journey’s most compelling aspects are responding to the shared daily challenges each caregiver encounters, offering practical guidance and providing limited financial help. Over the past 15 years we have advised more than 2500 families and continue to receive new referrals weekly.

Through various fundraising efforts and private donations, we have helped 130 families pay for homecare, unreimbursed medical expenses and life sustaining personal supports. Ultimately, this has allowed individuals to live in their community of choice.

Proudly, approximately 94% of funds raised are used to finance care assistance to Our New Journey families. As we continue to build Our New Journey, we need to increase our resources. For every $18.00 donated, Our New Journey can provide one hour of homecare; for every $225.00 donated, an overnight respite service can be given. Whether you are new to our unique organization, or a long time supporter we and the families we serve would greatly appreciate any financial support we receive.

Donations are tax deductible and should be made payable to Our New Journey and sent to the home office at 180 Oldfield Ave, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604. If you require additional information, please feel free to contact us at 551-666-7581 or through e-mail:

Open Enrollment for State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) For Elderly, Family, Homeless and Disabled Households

The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) published a Public Notice on June 20, 2022, announcing the opening of the waiting lists for the State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) for four categories: (1) Elderly, (2) Family, (3) Homeless and (4) Disabled Households. 

SRAP preliminary applications will be available online at: Monday, July 11, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. until Friday, July 22, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. for very low-income residents, who are eighteen (18) years of age or older; or who are emancipated minors.  Income limits are referenced on our website at

To qualify for SRAP, the head of household must either be a U.S. citizen or national of the United States or be a non-citizen who has eligible immigration status.

In addition, Applicants must be New Jersey Residents for at least 6 months to apply.

Definition of a Resident:  Someone whose primary residence is in the State of New Jersey and who has resided in New Jersey for at least six (6) months prior to applying for SRAP assistance. 

Applicants must have an email address to apply. 

Additional information, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be viewed at:

NJ Human Services Extends Application Period for Excluded New Jerseyans Fund and Doubles Cash Benefit

Eligible Households Can Now Receive Up to $4,000 in One-Time Cash Assistance

(TRENTON) – The Department of Human Services today announced that up to $10 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund has been authorized to extend the availability and operation of the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund (ENJF) into the new year.

The ENJF would have expired at the end of 2021, the federal deadline to spend Coronavirus Relief Funding.

Human Services has also doubled the benefit amount available under the program, providing more financial assistance to eligible households excluded from both the federal stimulus checks and COVID-19 related unemployment assistance.

The new increased benefit amounts provide $2,000 per eligible individual and a maximum of $4,000 per household, up from $1,000 and $2,000, respectively.

New applicants and all who previously applied and were approved will receive the new, higher benefit amounts.

We are dedicated to providing as much assistance as possible to New Jersey families in need, and are pleased we can provide a larger cash benefit to eligible families applying for the Fund,” Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman said. “We hope more families will take advantage of this assistance now that there is more funding and more time to apply.

“We are glad to be able to extend the application period through additional federal funds to provide greater assistance to families impacted by COVID who have been unable to receive other COVID financial relief,” Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “Individuals can apply for this direct cash benefit at”

The ENJF program will provide a one-time, direct cash benefit to eligible households that suffered a hardship due to COVID-19 and were excluded from federal stimulus checks and pandemic related unemployment assistance. This includes undocumented individuals, residents returning from the justice system and any other individuals otherwise excluded from pandemic-related financial help.

The federally funded, state administered program is open to households with annual incomes of up to $55,000 with a documented hardship due to COVID-19. Applicants must be over 18 and live in New Jersey to apply.

Interested individuals can check their eligibility, review what documents they can submit to demonstrate (ID/residency/income/COVID impact) eligibility and apply directly at The application is available in English and Spanish and online resources in multiple languages can be found on the website including an application tutorial video.

We urge all potential applicants to review the information on the ENJF website, especially the list of documents required to demonstrate eligibility before applying,” Office of New American Director Johanna Calle said. “There are many ways to demonstrate eligibility and applicants are only required to provide one document per category. Those unable to provide a required document could still be eligible and should still apply for the Fund.

NJ Division of Disability Information & Referral Services

What are Information and Referral (I&R) services?

I&R is the art, science, and practice of bringing people and services together. It’s about spreading awareness of existing services, but, more importantly, helping people navigate service systems to ensure they get connected to the services they need to thrive.  When individuals and families aren’t sure where to turn, I&R is there to guide them.

Through a toll free hotline, 1-888-285-3036, the Division of Disability Services (DDS) responds to approximately 5,500 requests each year for statewide Information and Referral Services.  Nationally certified Information and Referral Specialists are available to confidentially discuss issues, provide information, assist with problem solving, and refer individuals to appropriate agencies or services.  DDS I&R Specialists provide resources for individuals with disabilities in many areas: from the most basic needs for food and shelter to more complex needs of health care, support services, independent living, and employment.  DDS I&R Specialists also serve as the screening center for children and young adults, 20 years old and under, seeking Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS). Their small team is highly trained to not only provide referrals for the primary need of the caller, but to identify any additional needs and suggest resources that may be beneficial.

DDS I&R Specialists developed a comprehensive resource directory, NJ Resources. It is a tool designed to help you find the right resources, fast. This ever-evolving guide is packed with various programs and services the Department of Human Services offers to New Jersey residents, caregivers and advocates. It is used every day to help consumers locate commonly requested resources, answer basic questions about disability related concerns, and for general reference. Hardcopies can be requested by emailing us at:

The I&R team is eagerly awaiting your call.

Rental Assistance and Eviction Protections

New Jersey’s Eviction Prevention Program will pay up to two years of rent arrears and future rent, as well as utility assistance, for low-, moderate-, and middle-income households that have experienced an economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Eviction Prevention Program uses the same application process as the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which began in March 2021 and is still accepting applications. Landlords may apply for assistance on behalf of a tenant. Visit to get started. 

In addition to the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program and Eviction Prevention Program, the State introduced critical eviction protections for renter households that have experienced economic hardships during the pandemic. To find out more about current eviction protections available and how to self-certify for these protections, visit

New Jersey Register Ready

Register Ready

It’s always a good time to think about Register Ready, New Jersey’s voluntary special needs registry for disasters that allows residents with disabilities or access and functional needs – along with their families, friends, caregivers and associates – to provide information to emergency response agencies so they can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency. The information is confidential and will not be available to the public. It will be held securely and only used for emergency response and planning.

Visit NJ Register Ready Website below:

Peer Support Call Connection

Can’t get out to socialize like you used to? Join our Peer Support Call Connection program. A friendly Our New Journey caller will reach out to connect with you on an ongoing basis. Please contact us at or 551-666-7581.

Covid-19 Vaccines For People Who Are Homebound

The NJ Department of Health has begun accepting requests for in-home COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

If you are unable to leave home to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, or are the healthcare provider or family caregiver of someone who is homebound, you may request an in-home vaccination appointment by completing a form at:

For assistance completing the survey by phone, please call the NJ COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 1-855-568-0545. 

After you submit the completed form, the Department of Health will share information with a home health agency, local health department, or other vaccination providers and you will be contacted to schedule an in-home vaccination appointment.

You can read more about the program at this website:

NBC’s David Ushery highlights the ways Our New Journey helps those in need

Covid 19 Relief Funding

Our New Journey is a project under the umbrella of services offered through Heightened Independence and Progress (hip). Hip is a center for independent living offering help to people with disabilities who live in Bergen and Hudson Counties.?

Hip has funding for Covid-19 related relief. Do you need PPE or cleaning supplies? Is Covid-19 causing you to experience food insecurity? If you are taking advantage of telemedicine, could you benefit from a blood pressure monitor or other assistive devices? Are you now struggling to pay your rent after losing you job due to Covid-19 closings? Is there any technology that would help you to feel less isolated as you spend so much time at home.

If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes” call hip. If you live in Bergen County, please call Maria at 201-996-9100 x 18. Hudson County residents should call Alex at 201-533-4407. If you live in another New Jersey County call 201-996-9100 and ask them for information about who to contact in your area.

For more information about hip follow them on Facebook or visit their website

Our New Journey Gives Help & Hope

It is hard to believe that it has been eleven years since Anne Ciavaglia McMahon partnered with hip to launch Our New Journey. Focused on helping one family at a time, this service gives help and hope to families faced with the onset of illness or disability.

Since inception, Our New Journey has helped more than 1,200 families and receives new referrals weekly. Each family gains access to available services that are designed to address their individual needs. Our New Journey assists those dealing with the complicated maze of insurance benefits, physical care needs, personal transitions, home modifications and location of available public services, all of which can be a full time job in itself. Caregiver or consumer, either way, it is overwhelming.

Our New Journey‘s most compelling aspects are responding to the shared daily challenges each caregiver encounters, as well as the program’s ability to make a difference through practical guidance or by providing limited financial help for direct care services.

Through various fundraising efforts and private donations, Our New Journey helps families with limited financial support for homecare or personal needs, ultimately allowing them to live in their community of choice.

In order for Our New Journey to continue to build and to provide help, increasing resources through donations or various types of volunteer support is necessary. Please visit and refer to the About Us section which highlights the program’s mission.

Please share this information with anyone you feel could benefit from this service. If you need additional information about this truly unique service, please email Founder Anne Ciavaglia McMahon at or call her at (551)666-7581. She’d love to hear from you!

Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS)

Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS)

Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) refers to the delivery of long-term services and supports through New Jersey Medicaid‘s NJ FamilyCare managed care program. MLTSS is designed to expand home and community-based services, promote community inclusion and ensure quality and efficiency.

MLTSS uses NJ FamilyCare managed care organizations (also known as HMOs or health plans) to coordinate ALL services. Currently, NJ FamilyCare members have their acute and primary health care services and their home and community based services coordinated by different care management agencies. MLTSS provides comprehensive services and supports, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, in community residential services, or in a nursing home.

Participants previously enrolled in one of the following Medicaid Waiver programs were automatically enrolled in MLTSS effective July 1, 2014

  • AIDS Community Care Alternatives Program (ACCAP)
  • Community Resources for People with Disabilities (CRPD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver (TBI)
  • Global Options for Long Term Care (GO)


Managed Care Organizations (MCO)

Unlike the previously administered Medicaid Waivers, which were coordinated by independently contracted care management agencies, MLTSS uses a managed care approach. At this time, NJ contracts with these five MCOs to administer NJ FamilyCare, including MLTSS:



The MLTSS application process will vary depending on whether or not an individual already has NJ FamilyCare.


Regardless of age, all individuals who currently have Medicaid
must contact their assigned MCO to initiate an assessment for MLTSS


Adults (21 years of age and older):
Contact your County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) or
your County Welfare Agency (Board of Social Services) to initiate an
assessment for MLTSS eligibility.

     Children (20 years of age and younger):
     Contact the Division of Disability Services at 1-888-285-3036 and follow
the prompts to speak with an Information and Referral (I&R) Specialist to
initiate an assessment for MLTSS eligibility determination.


Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) Summary

MLTSS Resources for Consumers, Providers, and Stakeholders

NJ FamilyCare Aged, Blind, and Disabled Programs (ABD) Financial Application

Statewide Respite Care Program

The NJ Statewide Respite Care Program has been operational since April of 1988. This program provides respite care services for elderly and functionally impaired persons age 18 and older to relieve their unpaid caregivers of stress arising from the responsibility of providing daily care. A secondary goal of the program is to provide the support necessary to help families avoid making nursing home placement of their relatives. Services available under the Statewide Respite Care Program include:

  • Companions
  • Homemaker/home health aides (on an hourly or overnight basis)
  • Medical or social adult day care
  • Temporary care in licensed medical facilities
  • Camperships
  • Private duty nursing service
  • Caregiver-Directed option

To reach the Statewide Respite Care Program in your county, call the Aging & Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) toll-free at 1-877-222-3737.

Accessing Help & Hope

Established in 2007, Our New Journey provides support to families impacted by the challenges of illness or disability.  Services are provided by individuals who have first-hand experience as caregivers, as well as by those whom receive care.

Dedicated to working with one family at a time, this personalized service assists family caregivers of elderly and disabled adults through:

  •  Providing Limited Financial Support For Direct Care Services
  • Individual Guidance Directed Towards Understanding Personal Needs
  • Help with Locating Available Services
  • Caregiver Peer-to-Peer Support

Our New Journey is a free service, supported by individual donors and various fundraising activities.  For more information contact Our New Journey – (201) 288-2867 or email


Our New Journey Founder Anne Ciavaglia McMahon

Anne Ciavaglia McMahon is a lifelong resident of Hasbrouck Heights. In 1976 Anne graduated from HHHS, followed by attending Ramapo College of New Jersey where she earned a degree in Social Work. On October 11, 2008, Anne joyfully celebrated her unity of marriage to Brendan McMahon of Carlstadt.

Anne was born with Progressive Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She is the youngest sister of Bob and Anthony, parented by Rose and Ralph Ciavaglia. Rose and Ralph, who positively influenced all they encountered, not only provided a full and productive life for their children, but pioneered a world of independence, opportunity and hope for people with disabilities and their families.Dedicated to serving the community, Anne served as a Board of Education Trustee to the Bergen County Special Services School District for nine years, is a lifetime volunteer of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, member of the Hasbrouck Heights Community Access for All Committee and a former Board of Trustee member of Heightened Independence and Progress.

Professionally, Anne Ciavaglia McMahon enjoyed a 27 year career in the field of human services. Serving in high level administrative positions in government, private and the non-profit sector, Ms. Ciavaglia McMahon directed the delivery of services for the elderly, people with disabilities and caregivers.

In 1999 Anne was appointed Director of the Bergen County Division of Senior Services. As Director, she provided leadership to her staff of over 25 people who were dedicated to the development and implementation of numerous programs and services supplied to older adults and caregivers within Bergen County. Anne fervently maintained a working relationship with state and local agencies and organizations. She offered her expertise and knowledge to promote local, state and national improvements, systemic change and the expansion and delivery of innovative programs.

Anne began her tenure with the County of Bergen in 1981 as an Information and Referral Specialist. Within two years, she was promoted to the position of Director of the Division on Disability Services. In 1990, Anne left the public sector where her career centered on the independent living movement for people with disabilities in her position as Executive Director of Dial, Inc.

Prior to her employment with the Division of Senior Services, Ms. Ciavaglia McMahon was appointed to the Commissioner’s staff in 1993 as a Policy Advisor for the New Jersey Department of Labor. Anne advised the Commissioner on all employment-related issues for people with disabilities to ensure that equal access of services provided through the Department were implemented at the local level. Anne then worked as the Certification Administrator for the ADA Unit at NJ Transit. She was responsible for the development of a statewide system to screen potential passengers to be eligible for the Access Link Paratransit System.

In April 2007, Anne chose to retire due to health issues that were limiting her desired level of productivity. Without hesitation, she began to explore ways in which she could utilize her personal and professional experiences. Effective immediately, in conjunction with Heightened Independence and Progress, she launched Our New Journey, a unique project to support people with disabilities and their families.

As a volunteer, Anne dedicates each day from her home to meet Our New Journey’s mission: To give hope and help to families impacted by the onset of illness or disability. It is a free service, supported by individual donors and various fundraising activities. For more information or questions contact Ms. Ciavaglia McMahon by emailing