Congressional Reception Speaker Sees Newarks’ Rising Homeless Rate as Reason to Increase Funding for Affordable Housing
Michael Folger lives in Newark, New Jersey and is a constituent of U.S. Representative Albio Sires (NJ-8-D) and will be speaking at the Congressional Reception.
Michael worked full time and lived comfortably throughout his adult life until 2001. On September 11, 2001, his life was forever changed by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Michael was in the World Trade Center when the attacks occurred, and his mother and aunt were both aboard the hijacked Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania.
After September 11, Michael began to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and anxiety. He was unable to continue working and lost his apartment and car. He did not know what his options were and ended up in a homeless shelter in Newark.
Michael explains, “I didn’t have a lot of hope until I met someone from Project Live.”
Project Live, Inc. (PLI) is a nonprofit agency which provides a wide range of services to mental health consumers in Essex County, including residential, vocational, and supportive resources.
Project Live helped Michael acquire affordable housing and finally be able to call a place home. He is now on Social Security Disability and remains unable to work.
Michael claims, “My biggest fear is being homeless again.”
Despite all of the challenges Michael has faced, he remains hopeful about the future. Michael is extremely grateful for all of the support he has received and now gives back to his community in many ways. He is on the advisory board for an organization that helps people with low incomes. He has also traveled to share his story with others.
Michael is worried about the increasing homeless rate in Newark. He wants his elected officials to increase funding for affordable housing in Newark and take the problems surrounding mental health seriously.
If you are passionate about providing affordable housing and ending homelessness in New Jersey, you should attend the July 25th, a Congressional Reception will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that Opportunity Starts at Home.
We know that by joining together and amplifying our voices, we can have an impact on the decisions that are made in Washington DC. Join Monarch Housing Associates and our 35 partners from New Jersey to make the case that homelessness is solvable a problem. The federal government must be a full partner in ensuring an adequate breadth of services are available to prevent children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and all of our neighbors in NJ from experiencing the homelessness.
Register today to attend the Congressional Reception. Everyone needs to register even if you are traveling on your own.