Congresswoman Bonnie Watson: We Need Diverse Housing in the State of New Jersey
Among Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman’s over 45 constituents at Hill Day were Sean Duffy and Marlene Lao-Collins, Executive Director, Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton.
Sean Duffy, 41 years old and a resident of Trenton, addressed the audience sharing the impact that homelessness has had on his life. Sean shared that he became homeless in 2012, moved and came to Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton in 2013.
Sean spoke about the success that he has had in rebuilding his life. “I got back on the volunteer fire department in Hamilton, New Jersey.” He gave up drinking and has been sober for 10 years.
In December 2016, through the help of Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton, he moved into his own apartment and now could not be happier. He pays for his apartment with assistance from a Section 8 housing voucher and is waiting for his application for Social Security benefits to be processed.
Sean told Monarch Housing, “I picked myself up by my boot straps.” He said, “A voucher is what helped me. Please keep funding for these programs.”
Marlene Lao- Collins, Executive Director, Diocese of Trenton, introduced Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman to the audience, “We believe decent, safe, affordable housing is a human right. We recognize that communities and government have an obligation to ensure to housing needs of all.”
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman told her constituents and the larger audience, “Your being here is very, very important.” Said Watson Coleman, “We are entitled to decent living.”
“The whole issue of the healthcare act was impacted because people showed up across this nation and their various towns,” Congresswoman Watson Coleman reminded the audience. “We need diverse housing in the state of New Jersey.”
Monarch Housing was joined by 38 partner organizations in planning and supporting NJ Hill Day.
The video was taken by Jay Everett of Monarch Housing.