CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION BEGINS TRANSITION AWAY FROM STATE-SUPPORTED EMERGENCY SHELTERS THIS WEEK
TRENTON ‚Äì The Christie Administration today announced that due to the success of finding temporary housing placements for shelterees, it anticipates closure of Monmouth Raceway Park‚Äôs Club House and the Arthur Brisbane Child Treatment Center – two state supported shelters ‚Äì this week. Individuals who are ineligible for federal assistance, but require continued support, are working with representatives from their respective home counties‚Äô Boards of Social Services to determine alternative accommodations.
‚ÄúAt this point, most of the individuals and families who remain in emergency shelter are those who struggled financially and experienced chronic homelessness even before Hurricane Sandy,‚Äù said Department of Human Services Commissioner Velez. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre familiar with their needs and we‚Äôll continue to serve them during this transition.‚Äù ¬†
On November 1st, New Jersey had more than 7,000 residents in 127 emergency shelters established to support evacuees and others in need of shelter following Hurricane Sandy. As of Tuesday morning, only 110 New Jersey residents remained in both locations.¬† Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean Counties each continue to operate a local emergency shelter with a combined census of about 75 residents.
Since the shelters were set up, individuals and families on-site have worked with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state agencies, county social service representatives, the American Red Cross and other non-governmental organizations to develop plans for transitional, short and longer term housing options. Staff from the state‚Äôs Department of Children and Families also has met with families to help them find suitable housing arrangements.
“We are committed to helping families who remain in shelters successfully transition to temporary or longer-term housing over the next several days,‚Äù said DCF Commissioner Allison Blake. ‚ÄúOur goal is to assure these families remain safe and supported with the resources and assistance we are able to provide.”
Individuals and families moving from the shelters will be given a list of available resources including, addresses and phone numbers to: county Boards of Social Services, county-based Disaster Recovery Centers, state Family Success Centers, state Mental Health Screening Centers and County Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Coordinators. ¬†In addition, they‚Äôll receive website addresses to: NJ211 for basic referral services, NJ Helps to apply for state and federal entitlement programs and End Hunger NJ, which lists locations of food pantries and soup kitchens by county.
‚ÄúThe transition away from state-supported emergency shelters puts New Jersey solidly on the path to rebuilding the lives of our residents who were significantly impacted by Hurricane Sandy,‚Äù said Commissioner Velez. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre finding longer term solutions for people so they can move on from congregate sheltering arrangements and get their lives back on track.‚Äù