Homeless men yearn for shelter

Our only comment on this letter to the Home News Tribune is that the homeless men are yearning for permanent, affordable and supportive housing.

Homeless men yearn for shelter

Home News Tribune Online 03/13/07

It was interesting to read a front-page article in the March 5 Home News Tribune with the headline “Pets yearn for homes.” The article covered almost an entire page. The details covering the plight of the pets were exceptional and made the readers feel supportive of the need for pets.

I would like to see similar coverage in your paper regarding “Homeless men yearn for shelter.” Perhaps details showing men of all ages sleeping in fields and behind bushes will stir the public to demand that our county government do something to correct this terrible situation. Can you imagine a human being left out in the freezing cold and rain with no place for shelter? That is what is being done in Middlesex County. More attention and money is spent for pet shelters than is spent for homeless men. Why? As long as there is one man left out in the cold, it is evidence that the homeless shelter program is a failure.

Of approximately 450 homeless men, only about 40 are housed year-round in the New Brunswick Ozanam Inn run by Catholic Charities. The men are allowed in at 4:30 p.m. and are obliged to leave at 7:30 a.m. During the winter months, from December to the middle of March, the New Brunswick Interfaith Emergency Men’s Shelter takes in 16 homeless men. The following houses of worship participate in the program: St. Peter, First Reformed, Anshe Emeth, United Methodist, Sacred Heart, Presbyterian, and Christ Church. They provide a large room capable of holding 16 folding cots with pillows, sheets and blankets. Men are allowed in at 7 p.m. and must leave at 7 a.m. I wonder what the other homeless men are doing during the winter months?

The county administration should take a serious look at the problem and provide a long-range, intelligent solution.

Frank J. Coury

EAST BRUNSWICK