Betty McTeague, Constituent of Congressman Josh Gottheimer, Shares Story of with Homelessness, Living with Mental Illness at the 2018 Congressional Reception
On July 25, 2018, Betty McTeague, 69 years old and a constituent of U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (R-NJ-5) shared her ongoing battle with homelessness at the 2018 Congressional Reception. Betty shared that along with homelessness she also struggles with mental illness and having to continue to work past the typical retirement age.
Congressman Josh Gottheimer was not able to attend the Congressional Reception, but his office sent a representative from his staff to event. If you live in Congressman Gottheimer’s district, please send him a message sharing the video of Betty McTeague’s testimony so that he can view first-hand the impact of homelessness in his district.
In an interview with Monarch Housing Associates, Betty mentioned that she cannot retire, because without a paycheck, she would not be able to afford her living expenses or her medical bills. But because she is not retired Social Services refuses to give her assistance.
“I’m still working, because I have too.”
Betty shared that she has been working with Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey (CSPNJ) for 13 years.
“If it wasn’t for CSPNJ I wouldn’t be here today.”
CSPNJ helped Betty get a job as a facilitator that paid a stipend when a program she relied on for mental health services and medical health services ended. Her job at CSPNJ allowed her to have some extra money to be able to buy food for herself. Eventually Betty was promoted to a staff person and is currently still working there today.
Betty believes that advocating for yourself is the best way to make sure your needs are met.
“You’ve got to have a loud mouth. You’ve got to keep fighting and you’ve got to keep telling your story.”
Betty believes that no one should have to settle in terms of housing. She believes that everyone is entitled to live and not just survive. Betty stresses that everyone has the right to a safe home where they can have the opportunity to pursue the things they want in life.
Betty wants her elected officials to consider how housing cuts would affect them if their own families were in the same situation she is in.
Betty stated that she is a fighter and she will continue to fight for her right to affordable housing.
Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, Inc. (CSPNJ) is a peer led not-for-profit organization. CSPNJ provides flexible community-based services that promote responsibility, recovery and wellness through the provision of community wellness centers, supportive and respite housing, human rights advocacy, and educational and innovative programs.