Maio-Messano on Highlights Mayors Challenge
Community Hope and Mayor Torres Highlighted
Maria Maio-Messano, the NJ HUD director spoke about the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. Currently, thirteen NJ mayors including Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres who spoke about how “he diverted funds from one program to house some of the 100 homeless vets in Paterson.”
“These individuals will receive a voucher, similar to a section eight voucher, so as long as the need is there it becomes a permanent voucher.”
The VA has and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have challenged America’s mayors — 13 of them in New Jersey so far — to permanently house homeless vets and give them life-sustaining services by 2015.
“The idea that someone should go and jeopardize their life and their health for us and then come home and not have a roof over their head, it’s kind of in this country, kind of really tears at our hearts. How could this be in our country?”
Asked Maria Maio-Messano of HUD.
The program highlighted the work of Community Hope to end homelessness in NJ.
Timothy Paxton used to be one of America’s homeless vets, struggling with addiction and other issues. He researched and took advantage of a VA and Community Hope of Parsippany partnership and landed an apartment at Valley Brook Village for veterans.
“It’s great a great place as far as I am concerned. I am living with fellow veterans that understand me and I understand them,” said Paxton.
Now, Paxton works as a Community Hope outreach caseworker looking to help vets in North Jersey.
“Evidence shows that if you get housing, you recover much faster from other things that made you become homeless in the first place.”
Said Carmine Deo, COO and VP of clinical services.