Ms. Toumajan said that Congressman Frank Pallone was sorry to not be able to attend the reception due to a bill his committee that he was managing on the House floor.
“He is incredibly supportive of all of the important work that you are all doing to better the quality of life for all of citizens. He is looking forward to continuing to work with you all.”
Over 350 advocates traveled to Washington, DC to meet with the New Jersey Congressional delegates and let them know that there should be No Housing Cuts and the need for investments for housing and homelessness prevention.
Advocates urged legislators to oppose spending cuts to programs that reduce access to affordable homes for NJ residents.
Ann-Margaret Smullen of CSPNJ spoke about the policy crisis in NJ.
“There is a serious lack of affordable housing,” she said. “We get calls daily from individuals looking for anywhere to go to rest their heads for the night. We receive hundreds of calls from people who are homeless.”
John Lewis described how housing had transformed his life.
He has lived in a supportive apartment in Asbury Park, New Jersey for 3 years. Prior to moving into his own apartment, he lived in rooming homes and boarding homes after the state hospital where he was staying closed in 1998.
John receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and also works part-time driving a van for Collaborative Support Programs NJ transporting clients to and from its Freehold Care Center. Says John, “I love my job and wouldn’t want to do anything else right now.”
He also keeps busy attending support groups and meetings and belongs to a church in Asbury Park.
Says John about his apartment, “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.”