Mayor Steven Langert On Tent City: It Seems To Gain Residents Faster Than This Committee Can Get Them Out

tent_city_stormy“It seems to gain residents faster than this committee can get them out,” Mayor Steven Langert said at a recent Township Committee meeting. “It goes against the agreement we had with some of the leaders in that camp.” Confrontation looms: Now it appears the situation has come to a head. Langert said the township attorney has just finished drafting court papers to “relocate” — he does not like to use the word “evict” — the 25 squatters on the township property. Simultaneously, homeless advocates have geared up with their own defense of lawyers and academics. Earlier this month, some 10 religious and policy groups, from the Presbyterian Church of Toms River to the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, came together to draft a mission statement. Called the Declaration of Unity, its main objective is to work with local and county officials in establishing the first “adequate” emergency shelter in Ocean County. But as a last resort, the coalition is willing to fight to prevent homeless eviction from public woods. 

“I hope we are all on the same team,” said Jeffrey Wild, a lawyer who offers legal advice for the advocates and, through his synagogue, provides the camp with clothing, food and stoves. “If, and only if, we are not, then we will need to honor a basic legal principle: that under the New Jersey Constitution, New Jersey statutes and common sense, the first duty of government is to protect the safety of the people, and this duty includes an obligation to provide emergency shelter to the poor who have nowhere else to go.”

Wild said he drafted the declaration after seeing “common ground on an issue that historically has been very divisive.”

College students have also taken on advocacy roles. At the April 7 Ocean County Board of Freeholders meeting, three students presented nearly 800 signatures calling for the county to establish a Homeless Trust Fund under a state law that allows counties to use document-filing surcharges to build a coffer to fight homelessness.

Langert said his intention is to not remove anyone from the camp without finding some sort of temporary housing first. Yet, housing options are becoming increasingly limited, advocates argue, because of rising unemployment and a sharp drop in available rooming and boarding homes. Several residents of the camp admit they don’t know where they will go if removed.

“I’m sure I’ll just go back into the woods, find another spot,” said Norman “Stormy” Cornelius, who has lived in the camp for three years and in the woods in Brick for more than five years before that. “I can go further back toward Pine Street that way. It’s nice over there.” Read full article in APP

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24 COMMENTS

  1. EMS, Homeless, Day Laborers. Give the man credit, he has taken on all the issues no one wanted to for years. Steve for Mayor!! Oh I forgot, he is the Mayor

  2. cuts to Ems saved you 2 million plus over 3 years. Homeless problem cost you 500K per year in salaries & police and DPW. Laborers? At least 200k

  3. Our mayor does it again, he strikes and misses as usual.Now he is gracing his compassionate personality upon the homeless issue.I know I am not running against our current mayor, but I must speak out against the irrational behavior of a young politician that is being guided by my opponent Bob Singer.

    Let us go in order.
    1. Smart Growth – Langert was willing to pervert the entire concept to fit into the plans of specific developers. I have spoken about the concepts of true smart growth many times over, my opponents spokesman has probably never read a book on urban planning, unless it was written by a sports writer.

    2.Day laborers – Langert’s idea of a solution to a minor annoyance is to corral laborers away from specific spots on Clifton where friends of Bob Singer do not want them. Neither he , nor his mentor, understand the difference between a laborer or a loiterer, just as they do not know the difference between a legitimate business, and a front for laundering illegally obtained cash. They have no solution for the real problems, so they deal with the minor problem, and pretend they have it all solved.

    3.EMS – today at the Blue Claws game there was a table form GEM ambulance. They wanted to know if i wanted a job! they were recruiting new employees. They also admitted that they recently purchased two new first response vehicles. Why would a transport company need a first responder? They also told me they are expanding their operations. Getting ready for January? Just in time for the EMS contract to expire? Again Langert has learned from the master of deception. There was no honesty or transparency in the EMS decision. My mother gets transported from dialysis by Gem. If I needed to rely on them to save a loved ones life, as many of the seniors do, I would not be very happy. If Langert had truly only wanted to save us money he would have been smiling when he signed their new contract, and would not have it expire in January.

    4. Which brings us to the homeless. The same homeless that had Bob exclaiming how the forest was his, and they must leave. Now Bob’s political progeny is exclaiming the same thing. He will shout that it is for their own safety. After all didn’t two people already die in tent fires? Instead of finding an adequate solution for these people, he just says it is time to go.Where? I had the pleasure of spending some time with these tortured souls. They are truly battered, and beaten. Some have made bad decisions in life, many were dealt a bad hand. They each have a story to tell. We as human beings have a responsibility to help those that do not have the ability to help themselves. I hope that Steve Langert will consult with Reverend Steve Brigham, who has taken it upon himself to help these people, and find a solution that will treat them each with compassion, and decency. i hope he will try to find a solution that will show others how, as Jews, we must consider every life important.
    Now that I think about it though, I am reminded who taught him everything.

  4. hey herschele, not everyone was able to learn compassion from a man like you describe your father.he truly sounded amazing, but cut this guy some slacks

  5. if gem or any private company would take over. the poeple that cant pay there bills, will afterall be ‘thrown’ out of there house. can u guess whose moving into tent city next? prob, the guy in the back of a private rig. guess what happens next? guess where there gonna find ur missing stuff when “tent city has its ‘smart growth'”?

  6. Harold, you sure talk a good game. If you get in, let’s see you tackle some issues, other than spouting some propaganda on “the scoop”. I have dealt with Bob Singer, Reverend Brigham, Steve Langert, the homeless, and EMS so I can say I speak from experience.

  7. Harold I too have dealt with Bob Singer,Steve Langert,Reverend Brigham,the homeless,and EMS you are truly a breath of fresh air. Keep plugging away. Your friend.

  8. Dear Sarge,
    If you are still reading this post I would just like you to know, that tackling issues is exactly what I have always done. I saw a broken crack house in the middle of my downtown, and I did what I could. I have tackled many other problems in my community as a civilian. I do not feel it is proper to publicly announce my resume. My opponent on the other hand has taken 29 years to show us that he cares about the people of Lakewood, and not himself, his friends, and those powers that get him elected.
    Let me ask you Sarge, what makes you think he will change in year 30? I am ready to tackle all the issues, and I am not waiting until I get elected. Please come to our downtown meeting this Thursday the 21st in the,still old, municipal building upstairs. We will be discussing important issues that regard the entire town as well as the downtown.

  9. No, Reb Hershey, you MUST publicly announce your resume. Tell the oilom of the books you’ve read, and the courses you’ve taken. The planning board is waiting with bated breath!!

  10. class. won’t post anything that questions harry henderson. hairy has his hole harmonious hopportunity having hfun hwith hno hcriticism hallowed. he has hno hneed hto hrespond hto hquestions. he hwill hskulk hto hvictory

  11. O, wait great job Mayor with all these so called budget problems, we needed to spend 2 million dollars on buying everyone huge yellow recycling cans .

Comments are closed.