One of seven steps in proposal to end homelessness Renew NJ’s SNHTF Seeks Meeting to discuss S-1763
On May 1, 2012, Senator Richard J. Codey (D-Essex, Morris) held a press conference in the waiting room of Newark’s Penn Station to announce a series of new initiatives and legislation that will address the problem of homelessness in New Jersey. One of the proposed bills is S-1763 that would provide funding to renew the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund.
We simply cannot sit around anymore and think that the problem of homelessness in New Jersey is going to solve itself. The folks we see on the streets are not strangers. They are family, they are friends, and they are former co-workers. They are people who need help but are facing a system that refuses to give it to them. The time has come for that to change.
Among the other bills that Senator Codey will be sponsoring are:
legislation to prohibit discrimination by an emergency shelter against mentally ill individuals who are not a danger to themselves or to others;
legislation that prohibits emergency shelters for the homeless from refusing to provide services for a minimum of 72 hours;
and the “New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act,” establishing the “New Jersey Foreclosure Relief Corporation,” which will be dedicated to the purpose of purchasing foreclosed residential properties from institutional lenders and dedicating them for occupancy as affordable housing (S-1566).
In addition to the legislation, Senator Codey will push for several initiatives that will help provide better shelters as well as more permanent housing including:
support funding for groups like Bridges Coalition of Services, which provides services like food, clothing and toiletries directly to the homeless;
a letter to the federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary regarding their emergency shelter information website, which is riddled with errors and incorrect information;
a budget resolution to resume funding of the social worker loan forgiveness program at its original level – New Jersey needs to attract more social service practitioners to work with the homeless and other disadvantaged populations; and
calling on Congress to allow foreclosed owners to stay in their homes as renters.