Advocates Share Talking Points

Speak Up

Advocates for efforts to End Homelessness in New Jersey have prepared sample talking points with strategies that should be considered in the statewide plan to end homelessness.

The talking points are offered to all who plan to testify at the Interagency Council on the Homeless hearing that will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

Click here for the Talking Points

The strategies include:

  1. Adopt Housing First as a State Policy
  2. Create a Rapid Re-Housing rate for boards of social services
  3. Support Local Efforts to Create Centralized and/or Coordinated Assessment Systems
  4. Set a priority for homelessness with the State Public Housing Agency (PHA) and encourage the same from local PHAs
  5. Assist local Continuums of Care (CoC) in retooling transitional housing

The talking points also make recommendations that would address impediments to the delivery of services

  • Ensure that all agencies receiving state contracts for service funding are required to serve the most difficult to house homeless and focus their resources on solutions that work, while encouraging well-designed innovations for continuous improvement
  • Encourage all state agencies that receive funding to assist the homeless, including DHS and DCA, to coordinate funding for housing and homeless services.
  • Require participation of local Boards of Social Services in Continuum of Care (CoC) homeless planning activities
  • Coordinate with local CoCs and ensure that all grants for state funding for homeless activities require local CoC approval

Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard Constable and Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Jennifer Velez will hold an Interagency Council on Homelessness public hearing on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 to hear from the public about how the State can best address the needs of homeless New Jerseyans.

The public hearing will be held from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the NJ Forensic Science Technology Center at 1200, Negron Drive in Hamilton.

The Council is particularly interested in hearing views on two topics:

  • Best practices in homeless services delivery and
  • Impediments to the delivery of homeless services.

Individuals planning to speak will be limited to 3 minutes and will be expected to focus on one or both of those topics. Written remarks may be submitted via:

  • email at or
  • mail to Homeless Council Public Testimony, NJ Department of Human Services, Office of the Commissioner, PO Box 700, Trenton, NJ 08625-0700.

If you are in need of an accommodation, please contact Jennifer Crowley at the NJ Department of Human Services at (609) 292-6090 no later than Wednesday, December 11, 2013.

Please note that the public hearing is an opportunity to provide your comments, only. It is not interactive.

Click here for the Talking Points

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