Individuals who have been homeless and live in each of New Jersey’s 12 congressional districts have shared their stories and will be in Washington, DC on July 13 to speak to their Senators and Representatives.
“Those of us who have never been homeless may think of it in the abstract. We are bringing formerly homeless people with us to educate our federal representatives about how real the problem is and on real, cost effective solutions.”
Said Cory Storch of Bridgeway, one of the event sponsors.
Below are some of the highlights:
Mark Faryna has lived in a supportive housing apartment in Lafayette, New Jersey, in the district of Congressman Scott Garrett (R-5), for almost four years. A four-year Navy veteran, prior to moving into his apartment, he experienced homelessness for about three years. While he was homeless, he stayed with friends and spent three years in a Veterans Affairs homeless program. But now he is in touch with his family and says “They look forward to me calling.”
John Lewis has lived in a supportive apartment in Asbury Park, New Jersey, in the district of Congressman Frank Pallone (D-6) for 3 years. Prior to moving into his own apartment, after the state hospital closed in 1998, he moved between rooming homes and boarding homes. He works part-time driving a van transporting clients for Collaborative Support Programs. “It’s all mine. I have a TV and radio, cook my own food and can sit on my front porch and have a cup of tea,” he says about his apartment.
Bill Butler has lived in his Ocean Grove, New Jersey apartment, in the district of Congressman Chris Smith (R-4) since 2005. Prior to moving into his apartment, he was hospitalized and then lived in a boarding home. His apartment is convenient to his job at Wegmans, where he has worked since 2014. Living in his own home, he says that he “Can go to the refrigerator anytime he wants to and has his own address and phone.”