Working to End Homelessness in Cumberland County by 2020

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BRIDGETON, N.J. -

Ending homelessness in Cumberland County by 2020, that’s the mission of the Housing First Collaborative. Organizers are hoping to put a big dent in that goal by the end of September 2017. 

The M25 Initiative’s Code Blue program has helped provide the homeless population in Cumberland County with a warm meal and a place to sleep during freezing nights. However, M25 officials wanted to do something to take it a step further. 

So, now the Housing First Collaborative is pledging to end homelessness in Cumberland County by 2020.

“We believe that housing is a human right, that everybody should have a place to call home,” said Dr. Robin Weinstein, the president of the M25 Initiative. “We will do what is necessary to make sure that they have that.” 

Forty-three housing vouchers have been secured from the State Department of Community Affairs, which means the State will help pay for the majority of the rent for a homeless individual. 

Housing First Collaborative Pledges to End Homelessness in Cumberland County by 2020.

“It saves lives, it saves money, it improves people’s lives and it gives them an opportunity to get out of that pit that they found themselves in,” said Weinstein. 

The homeless must go through a complicated process to get the voucher, but once they get approved, it’s time to get looking.

“We then put them in transitional housing, which is one of the areas that we’re looking to fund raise for now,” said Weinstein.

The organization needs to raise $42,000 to pay for that transitional housing and help get the clients settled into new homes.

“We have to work with them to provide everything there," said Weinstein, "because it’s one thing to have a roof over your head, but you have to have something in the apartment to lay your head on.”

Housing First Collaborative organizers hope to have all 42 vouchers handed out by September 30th to take one big step in ending homelessness in Cumberland County by 2020. Since starting a generosity campaign in the beginning of the month, the group has raised thousands of dollars from donors.

But they’re hoping to get even more donations to meet their goal.

“We don’t just want it to be a success; we need it to be a success,” said Weinstein.


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