Mentally Ill Suffer in Squalid Boarding House Conditions

Supportive Housing Offers More
Humane and Less Expensive Alternative

Governor Richard CodeyIn a September 29, 2014 NJTV news story, State Senator Richard Codey and then-Newark Mayor Luis Quintana uncovered squalid conditions at a Newark state-licensed boarding house for the mentally ill.

This story comes at a time when we know that there are better alternatives for providing permanent, more cost effective housing for the individuals with mental illness and better investments for government funding. Supportive housing and more specifically, the Housing First model provide a much more humane alternative.

“’It was an absolute disgrace. Smell of urine, feces. Nobody ever should be forced, I mean, prisoners, prisoners have luxury suites compared to the kinds of conditions these people were living in and that’s why it’s boarded up and that’s why it is for sale and I am real happy about that.”

Codey said.

“I couldn’t believe it. I went home later, I was sick because I couldn’t believe that people were put in that kind of condition.”

Quintana said.

After the raid:

“Most (of the 47 mentally ill men and women) were transferred to other facilities. Medics took a dozen to hospitals for treatment.”

The better alternative is that all of the 47 individuals could be living with the support services they need to manage their mental illness in supportive housing or Housing First apartments.

Click here for the news story.