Support Funding for Code Blue Bill & Support Emergency Assistance NJ

Sign on Today to Urge Gov. Murphy to Endorse and Introduce Legislation and Protect NJ’s Most Vulnerable Residents

The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) is sending a letter to Governor Murphy urging him to protect the State’s most vulnerable residents. Monarch Housing Associates has signed on to the letter and we urge your organization to do the same.

The letter askes Governor Murphy to endorse:
 
  • The State Legislature passed legislation (S2737/A4177) allowing a county to increase its homelessness trust funds by two dollars.  This increase will be used to fund code blue emergency shelter services. The Network urges Governor Murphy to sign the bill into law.
  • Governor Murphy vetoed legislation that would overturn the current lifetime cap on Emergency Assistance (EA) benefits for the homeless.  This overturn would allow the State to provide assistance for up to 18 months within any seven-year period. We need Governor Murphy to work with the legislature to quickly introduce a new bill to overturn the current lifetime cap on EA.
 
To endorse this letter, let the Network know by, close of business, Tuesday, February 19 to OPT IN. Click here to sign on!
 
The letter states, 
 
“It is time for New Jersey to enable counties that want to provide Code Blue shelter services for their homeless residents to have the ability to raise funds to pay for them.”
 
“During the cold days of this winter, Code Blue has been vital to provide shelter services for our State’s homeless population. Despite their best efforts working with local non-profits, some counties have found this requirement a financial burden. This bill will enable those counties to create a funding source for Code Blue, which was adopted in 2017, while not taking any funding from the current uses of their County Homeless Trust Funds. Hopefully, this bill will encourage the counties that do not have Trust Funds to enact one.”
 
A new bill overturning the current lifetime cap on EA would benefit the homeless.  The bill would limit the cost of the program to $20 million, protecting our most vulnerable residents while limiting the impact on the budget. Advocates do not anticipate that the cost of the legislation will not come close to that figure. This is an issue critical to NJ’s most vulnerable residents and we hope you will resolve this issue without delay.
 
NJCounts 2018 found 9,303 homeless men, women and children, in 6,982 households, across the state of New Jersey. This number increased by 771 persons (9%) from 2017. Individuals who were homeless on the night of January 23, 2018 were counted. Click here for the NJCounts 2018 reports. 
 
As more communities work to refine their Code Blue response system and provide warming center services to unsheltered persons coupled with the cold temperatures for this winter, the overall NJCounts numbers will likely be impacted.  NJCounts 2019 took place on January 23, 2019.
 

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