End Homelessness: Housing is a Human Right and Everybody Should Have a Place to Call Home
On June 8, 2017, SNJ Today reported “Working to End Homelessness in Cumberland County by 2020.” A Housing First Initiative in Cumberland County has set the goal to end homelessness in the county by 2020. The group has set September of 2017 as a key benchmark towards this goal.
When the weather drops below freezing, the M25 Initiative’s Code Blue program helps provide individuals experiencing homelessness in Cumberland County with food and a place to stay warm.
But officials with M25 want to do more to end homelessness. “We believe that housing is a human right, that everybody should have a place to call home,” said Dr. Robin Weinstein, the president of the M25 Initiative. “We will do what is necessary to make sure that they have that.”
The New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs gave the group 43 housing vouchers. It is the hope that the vouchers will be distributed by September 2020. Through these vouchers, the state will pay for most of the rent for the apartments rented with the vouchers.
Dr. Weinstein spoke about the importance of the new vouchers. “It saves lives, it saves money, it improves people’s lives and it gives them an opportunity to get out of that pit that they found themselves in,” said Weinstein.
The next step is to get the individuals in need of housing approved for vouchers.
“We then put them in transitional housing, which is one of the areas that we’re looking to fund raise for now,” said Weinstein.
M25 is raising $42,000 to pay for transitional housing and help to get the clients settled into new apartments. And the group has already raised money towards that goal.
“We have to work with them to provide everything there,” said Weinstein, “because it’s one thing to have a roof over your head, but you have to have something in the apartment to lay your head on.”
Weinstein commended about the goal of housing people through the new vouchers. “We don’t just want it to be a success; we need it to be a success,” said Weinstein.
The M25 Initiative is a 501c3 non-profit in Cumberland County, NJ created for the sole purpose of engaging, equipping, empowering, and mobilizing the local church and faith-based organizations to engage in innovative and cooperative solutions to alleviate suffering, feed the hungry, end poverty, reduce crime, revitalize a spirit community and transform lives!
For more about how housing first read our prior post Housing First Targets Chronic Homelessness