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