Cumberland Pastor Pushes for Homeless Trust Fund

Housing First Would Decrease Cost of County’s Homelessness

Dr. Robin WeinsteinThe Press of Atlantic City recently covered Pastor Robin Weinstein’s continued efforts to end homelessness in Cumberland County, which would be greatly helped with the institution of a homeless trust fund.

“We don’t do a very good job in terms of preventing homelessness and in getting people out of the cycle of homelessness.”

Said Weinstein.

Cumberland County’s Freeholder Board could:

“Begin discussions later this month on creating a homeless trust fund. Money would come from a $3 fee that could be imposed on deeds, mortgages and other documents filed with the county Clerk’s Office.”

It is estimated that the trust fund could generate as much as $75,00 year towards ending homelessness. While supportive of a trust fund, local officials caution that it may take a while to implement.

In the meantime, Weinstein is also pushing for the best practice of “Housing First” to be implemented in the County.

“Weinstein, a member of the Cumberland County Board of Social Services, said it can cost as much as $40,000 a year to help a chronically homeless person in Cumberland County. That figure not only includes taxpayer dollars, but costs related to things such as ambulance and hospital services” … Housing First “Coupled with financial help from the trust fund, could cut that cost in half, he said.”

Bergen County has a homeless trust fund and has successfully implemented Housing First.

“We don’t have people sleeping on benches or panhandling,” she said. “We know that our chronic homeless numbers are down.”

Says Julia Orlando, Bergen County’s health and human services director.

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