Lakewood And Homeless Advocates Agree On Consent Order

tent city chief lawson[TLS photo of Police Chief Rob Lawson (R) during a visit to Tent City] Today, Lakewood Township and advocates for the homeless living in camps in the woods in Ocean County submitted a proposed Consent Order to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Ocean County, in Toms River, NJ. The Consent Order was submitted “to allow Lakewood, the Homeless Individuals, their advocates and other interested parties, including the members of the Coalition [a coalition of many non-profit organizations and individuals advocating for the right of the homeless of Ocean County] to seek to find an amicable resolution to the issues presented by this litigation.”
 
In what may be an unprecedented effort at cooperation with respect to the longstanding and often
divisive problem of homelessness in Ocean County, the parties to the Consent Order have agreed
to cooperate together in pursuing the following goals:
 
(a) eliminating the need for the Homeless Camps by, as a first step, identifying a temporary location within Ocean County . . . where homeless individuals will be provided with safe and adequate emergency shelter and matched with currently available social services pending further Order of the Court;
 
(b) working together with the County and other interested parties, including the Coalition, to establish the first adequate permanent shelter in the County; and
 
(c) working together with the County and other interested parties, including the Coalition, to secure permanent housing for the Homeless Individuals and the other homeless individuals in Ocean County.
 
At the same time, the parties have agreed that pending further agreement among the parties or any further Order of the Court, the parties shall not expand the homeless camps in the woods of Lakewood that are the subject of the case (the “Homeless Camps”) by: (a) bringing homeless individuals to the Homeless Camps; (b) soliciting or advertising the Homeless Camps as a location for the homeless; (c) building additional structures at the Homeless Camps or completing the construction of any structures now under construction; or (d) for expansion purposes, adding or improving upon the facilities at the premises such as any power-generating facilities, waste-disposal facilities (toilets) or water delivery systems (wells).

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