“Housing in this country should be a right.” Congressman Donald Payne, Jr., “When more than half of your income goes to your rent, there is little else you have for the bare necessities.”
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.
“It is impossible to find housing in Newark on a minimum wage job,” said Sakinah Hoyte, Director of Bridges Outreach’s Project Connect at St. John’s in her policy comments. Since 2014 Project Connect has helped over 3,500 homeless individuals.
Among those assisted by Projecy Connect is Theresa Pringle who lives in a homeless shelter in Newark and has been homeless for a year. She spoke about how the lack of housing can impact your life.
In April 2016, she was asked to leave the shelter and lived on the street and on the river, moving place to place. She became part of an “underground” group of people staying in Newark’s Penn Station. Says Theresa, “I don’t wish this on anybody.” She expects to move in to her own apartment within a month.
Theresa has six children including a son who graduated from St. Benedict’s Preparatory Academy in Newark. He lives at the school.
Theresa has a background working in social services but says that she is the “new face of homelessness.”