Ocean Surveys Homeless To Assess Need For Services; Steve Brigham: “We Need A Big Enough Shelter To Meet The Need”

45 tenter ARISTIDEOne by one, homeless men and women filed into the office of Ocean Hunger Relief on Wednesday, looking for a hot meal, food coupons and some blankets to help them survive the cold winter stretch. They also filled out questionnaires on homelessness as part of Ocean County’s “Point in Time” survey. The survey, conducted in conjunction with Project Homeless Connect, helps officials from the county and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development determine the need for programs and services for homeless people.

“This is mandated every other year, but we do it annually,” said Kathy Jaworski, Ocean County Human Services Advisory Council coordinator. “We count the sheltered and unsheltered, and that information goes to HUD and Ocean County officials so they can address the needs.”

Homeless people were asked to complete surveys Wednesday at four participating sites throughout the county: Ocean County Hunger Relief, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Seaside Heights, Macedonia Baptist Church in Lakewood and the St. Francis Community Center in Long Beach Township.

A similar homeless count was taken in Monmouth County.

Steve Brigham of Lakewood, an advocate for the homeless for more than 10 years, said he hopes this survey will convince officials that Ocean County needs a shelter of its own.

“We need a big enough shelter to meet the need — not some four-bed shelter in Waretown,” Brigham said. “I hoping the numbers here and at the other churches will substantiate the need. I hope they will convince the county. We need food through pantries and medical services, but our No. 1 need is a shelter.”

County officials argue against the need for a county shelter and have long contended that there are many privately operated shelters throughout Ocean. More so, they contend they have subsidized outreach efforts with public money, most notably the Atlantic City Rescue Mission. They would also argue the county Board of Social Services routinely places homeless people in local motels when needed and covers the cost for several days. Read full article in APP.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Just to set the record straight for those in our community who don’t recognize this problem, just have Kavana when you say Shelo Asani Goy. We are lucky that we have the Torah and each other. For those outside of our community this is a serious problem which should be addressed properly. Please remember – we are rachmonim b’nei rachmonim.

  2. Hate to break it to you. Steve (brigham , not the mayor) cares so much that he lives with them. He has no backyard. He moved into tent city. He has no worldly posessions that I can see other than what he needs to serve these people. And then they often just spit in his face, due to the fact that most are mentally ill. The county needs to set up a mental health shelter for these homeless to assess their needs and to get them back into society, if possible.

  3. To #5 – See Practicle Bubbie’s comment in a previous article on the topic of homelessness. B’kitzur, the problem of homelessnes doesn’t exist in the orthodox jewish community because we take care of each other, according to a recent article. Boruch Atoh Hashem Shelo Assani Goy.

  4. The reason (at least part of the reason) why we don’t have such a chronic homeless problem, and I use the word chronic because there is an issue in Brooklyn, is because Baruch Atoh Hashem Malbish Arumim.

  5. shelo assani goy!!! are you kidding! do you think this is a punishment because they are goyim! do you think anyone wants to live like that!
    there must be many phrases people like you who quoted this can think of, you are so learned, or are you?

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