Marita

Little Egg Harbor
In 1998, Marita and her husband decided to move their family from Philadelphia to a small lagoon-front ranch house in Little Egg Harbor. The following years were a happy time. Marita has warm memories of her family together on summer days, fishing in the nearby marshes.
 
The hardship began when Marita's husband became ill. He passed away in 2011, and the family was still grieving when Superstorm Sandy came ashore. Marita and her children were placed in a trailer 40 miles north of their home. Then Marita's own health began to decline.
 
Marita credits her children with carrying her through two years of illness, stress and uncertainty. "Every time I wanted to throw my hands up in the air, my kids would say, 'no mom, come on. You're halfway there.'"
 
In 2015, Marita was finally able to start rebuilding with financial assistance from New Jersey's Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program. She received the maximum grant award from RREM to rebuild her Little Egg Harbor home, but soon discovered it would not be enough to complete the project. A $30,000 grant from NJCC's Gap Funding Initiative made all the difference, covering all remaining construction expenses.
 
In May, Marita returned to Little Egg Harbor. The home has a new layout and is four feet higher, but she chose to keep it at one story. "You don't take more than what you need," she says.
 
Marita can now focus on her health and her family. "I've already gotten over the toughest part," she says. "Getting home."

"I've already gotten over the toughest part," she says. "Getting home."