Richman highlighted the recently launched Housing First initiative in Camden.
“We are investing 45 federal Housing Choice Vouchers in this project because it had been reported to us that one percent of the users of emergency rooms in Camden account for 30% of the cost of emergency room services. The project will take a data based approach; the selection of individuals will be partially determined on an examination of hospitalization records. There is also a strong evaluative component built into the project design. We believe that the Camden project will save lives and reduce the Medicaid dollars that are currently paying for preventable hospital visits.”
Richman reported that:
“All together, we will be distributing approximately 585 vouchers, both SRAP and federal Housing Choice Vouchers to provide permanent supportive housing and reduce homelessness.”
“Reducing homelessness is a critical priority for the Administration … The initiatives I have just described are evidence that we take both the problem of homelessness and the Council’s recommendations to heart.”
Although Monarch Housing is pleased that Governor Christie has formed a Working Group to further explore ways in which to reduce and prevent homelessness in New Jersey, these reports indicate that there is a pressing need for action now so that our neighbors who do not have a place to call home tonight can secure permanent and affordable housing.