Acting on recommendations from The Interagency Council on Homelessness, Governor Chris Christie today announced the formation of a Working Group to further explore ways in which to reduce and prevent homelessness in New Jersey. Specifically, the Working Group will consider implementation of the proposals put forth by the Interagency Council, including Housing First policies, Rapid Re-Housing, and improved coordination among state agencies and social service providers that deliver key services to homeless individuals and families and those at risk of homelessness.
“Reducing homelessness continues to be a critical priority for my administration, and I want to personally thank the Interagency Council for undertaking a very challenging mission that has provided me with important, thought-provoking recommendations,” said Governor Christie. “We recognize that homelessness has many causes and the solutions to this issue must be comprehensive. I am confident that the Working Group I am creating today will play an integral role in moving state government forward in a more coordinated and strategic manner as we work with our partners to combat homelessness.”
The Working Group will be convened by the Governor’s Office and be comprised of senior leadership from the Departments of Human Services, Children and Families, Corrections, Community Affairs, Military and Veterans Affairs, Health, Labor and Workforce Development, the Parole Board and the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, as well as public members Julia Orlando from the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center and Matthew Reilly from MEND, Inc.
In addition, Governor Christie has tasked the Working Group with exploring ways to serve the homeless as well as strengthen services for sub-populations at risk of homelessness such as individuals suffering from mental illnesses or substance use disorders, the elderly, the unemployed, youth aging out of foster care, veterans, and those recently released from incarceration.
The Interagency Council on Homelessness was established by Governor Christie in Executive Order 92, signed on April 18, 2012 with a mission to create a 10-Year Plan to prevent and end homelessness in New Jersey, and delivering the plan to the Governor’s Office by December 31, 2014.