“Cumberland officials said they now have the chance to help fight homelessness from a governmental position that was previously unavailable.”
For the nine counties that have adopted the Funds over $1 million in combined funds have been raised since 2011. This funding helps prevent and end homelessness for many individuals and families in their communities.
Cumberland County estimates that the surcharges could raise at least $70,000 – $75,000 annually.
“Bridgeton pastor and homeless advocate Robin Weinstein expressed his excitement over the plan in an email to The Daily Journal.
‘I am delighted that the Board of Chosen Freeholders are putting forward the Homeless Trust Fund for adoption’ Weinstein said. ‘I applaud their courage and resolve in confronting this important issue.’”
Weinstein continued, “The trust fund is our opportunity to do something right on both a fiscal level and a moral level. The Homeless Trust Fund could support a county-wide Housing First model and other initiatives that holistically address homelessness in our area. These efforts would yield tangible results to taxpayers, as our current system is not equipped to tackle this growing problem.”
“Albert Kelly, mayor of Bridgeton, which started Cumberland County’s first Code Blue program that provides overnight warming centers for the homeless, said the trust fund is welcome. ‘We can use every bit of help that you can lend us to help us solve this problem in our community,’ he said.”
Next steps include passing and adopting the ordinance after a second reading on February 23rd.