13 NJ Mayors Join Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness

Commit to Ending Veteran Homelessness by 2015

Maria T. Maio-Messano and Richard W. BrownAs of August 27, 2014, The U. S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) New York & New Jersey Regional Office reported that thirteen New Jersey mayors have committed to ending Veteran homelessness in their cities by the end of 2015.

There is still time to join the campaign. To accept the challenge a Mayor or County Executive or Freeholder needs to send an email to HUD committing to work to end veterans homelessness by 2015.

The following New Jersey mayors have signed on to the Mayors Challenge:

  1. Mayor Stephen Fulop, Jersey City
  2. Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Hoboken
  3. Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres, Paterson
  4. Mayor John Ducey, Brick
  5. Mayor John E. McCormac,Woodbridge
  6. Mayor James Fife, Harrison
  7. Mayor Thomas Andes, Denville
  8. Mayor Thomas Lankey, Edison
  9. Mayor Janice Kovach, Clinton
  10. Mayor Don Guardian, Atlantic City
  11. Mayor Victor DeLuca, Maplewood
  12. Mayor Daniel J. Reiman, Carteret
  13. Village President Alex Torpey, South Orange

These mayors signed onto the “Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness,” a federal initiative that aims to ensure that every man and woman who has served in the U.S. military has access to permanent housing and the services that will help them maintain a stable home life.

This initiative, which brings together the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USCIH), calls on mayors, governors and county officials nationwide to commit to eliminating Veteran homelessness by working with federal and state government agencies, local service providers and housing advocates to pool resources and expertise. To accept the challenge a Mayor or County Executive or Freeholder needs to send an email to HUD committing to work to end veterans homelessness by 2015.

“HUD applauds New Jersey’s mayors for their commitment to ending Veteran homelessness in the state by 2015. The brave men and women of the military, who have given so much to protect our lives and liberty, deserve to have a place to call home. Through the Mayors Challenge, all levels of government are joining forces to make sure that they do.”

Said Holly Leicht, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey.

“Our HUD New Jersey Office is ready to provide support and guidance to every municipality in New Jersey to assist in reaching this important goal. We work closely with the service providers as well as State, and non-profit entities that receive HUD federal funding to assist the homeless population, and I’m confident that they are also committed to this challenge. With increased focus on the Veteran homeless population, together we can make sure needed services continue to reach the men, women, and families that need the support that only a stable home can provide.”

Said Maria T.  Maio-Messano, HUD New Jersey Field Office Director.

The New Jersey League of Municipalities, Housing and Community Development of New Jersey, and Monarch Housing Associates are among the organizations that have voiced their support for the initiative.

More than 200 mayors and state and county officials have already joined this effort. New Orleans, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Houston are on track to meet or beat the 2015 goal.

The federal government is committing significant resources to help communities pursue the goal of ending homelessness among Veterans.

Click here for HUD’s full press release, which includes strategies that communities are using to meet the challenge and additional resources.

Click here for Information for Mayors and Staff

Click here for Information on the Mayors Challenge