Housing Voucher Recipients Share Stories About How Housing Transformed Their Lives

Housing Voucher: Think About What It Would be Like If You Had a Family Member Who Needed Somewhere to Live

Joaquin Fuentes lives in Jersey City and received a housing voucher eight months ago through the assistance of CSPNJ.

Says Joaquin about life now that he lives in his own apartment, “I don’t have to worry about living from house to house, or living in the street, or getting my medication. It makes it so easy … being normal and seeing my doctors. My family loves me now because I’m doing the right thing. My life is a lot easier. My life improved and my health is better.”

“Over three decades of experience helping low-income individuals with disabilities integrate into their communities, we have seen how vouchers can transform the lives and health of the individuals and families that we work with,” said Mark Duffy, Director of Operations, CSPNJ.

John Boross has had a voucher for about 4 years and lives in Oakhurst. “When I was homeless, I did not have medication and now I am stable,” says John. “The help that the voucher gives me is tremendous, it’s a difference of $500 a month and with that I can pay my electric, hospital and gas bills and have a little bit of money left over at the end of the month to buy a book or CD. Without it, I’d be stuck between a rock and a hard place.”

“Vouchers transform lives and now is not the time for New Jersey’s elected officials in Washington to walk away from the federal investment that helps individuals to become stable and healthy members of their communities,” said Richard W. Brown, CEO, Monarch Housing Associates.

Bill Butler who uses a Section 8 voucher to rent his apartment in Ocean Grove has a message about importance of federal funding for vouchers. Says Bill, “Think about what it would be like, if you had a family member who needed somewhere to live.”

Bill asks elected officials “To take a hard and fast look at the difference that Section 8 means not only to myself, a person with a mental health disability but to people who don’t have a disability, to people who are poor who can’t afford to live in New Jersey in a 2-bedroom apartment for $1,300/month and to say once and for all, that we have to take care of the least fortunate among us. I’ve been blessed, I’ve been lucky, and I’ve worked hard to get where I am. But no one ever, ever, ever, does anything by themselves.”

“Housing vouchers are critical to individuals as it allows them to not only live with dignity but also die with dignity,” said Leslie Stivale, Executive Director, Triple C Housing. “There is one gentleman who received a housing voucher who had significant health concerns when he moved into his unit. He was able to comfortably receive palliative care for chronic health issues that otherwise would have resulted in more trauma and costly care revolving in and out of ER. He unfortunately lost his battle to cancer, but there has to be dignity in death when you have an address vs. being homeless on the street.”

70,000 New Jersey Households Use Housing Choice Voucher

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