City and County Officials Celebrate Opening
Commit to Help Every Individual
On April 16, 2015, the City of Trenton and Mercer County celebrated the grand opening of its Coordinated Entry and Assessment Services (CEAS) Center.
The vision of the CEASe system, of which the CEAS Center is the first step and point of entry, is that no one in the Trenton/Mercer area should experience homelessness and that everyone should have a safe, stable place to live.
CEASe’s mission is to provide an organized process to ensure that individuals who become homeless can move to permanent housing as quickly as possible.
Those with the longest history of homelessness will be given priority for housing resources.
“We believe now in Housing First. We want to house people not in 6 months but in 6 days.”
Hughes spoke as part of the event program and was joined with remarks by:
- City of Trenton Mayor Erick E Jackson,
- James A. Brownlee, MPH, Director of the City of Trenton’s Department of Public Health,
- Marygrace Bilek, Director of Mercer County’s Department of Human Services,
- Frank Cirillo, Executive Director of the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness and
- Sharon McDonald, Director for Families & Youth, National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH)
“My administration’s commitment is to end homelessness. Today, we shift our focus from sheltering individuals to housing individuals.”
Said Mayor Jackson
“Today, this is more than about opening up a building. This is a starting point, but this is more than that. It’s about reconnecting people with our community … it’s about bringing them home.”
Said Frank Cirillo, executive director of Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness — one of the nonprofits partnering with the center.
Permanent housing is the goal of the CEASe system created for individuals who experience homeless in the Trenton and Mercer County community. The system will operate as the single point of entry for homeless individuals to access housing and community services through the Rescue Mission of Trenton and Mercer County’s emergency assistance program.
A coordinated assessment process will identify, assess, and prioritize the needs of the homeless. The system will maximize both government and community resources.
The Times of Trenton reports that the City of Trenton was awarded a $3 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to continue funding housing vouchers for chronically homeless women and families.
Click here for more specifics about how the CEAS Center will work.
Click here for video footage from ABC 6.
Click here for news coverage from The Trentonian.
Click here for coverage from The Times of Trenton.