Friday, March 9, 2012

NJ State Sen. Richard Cody tests homeless shelters

On Monday night, Jimmy Peters had nowhere to go. The mentally ill man had just been released from the psychiatric ward of a local hospital. Dressed in worn out clothes, the bearded man, with tattoos all over his body, set out to find a place to sleep for the night.
State Senator Richard Codey played the role of Jimmy Peters on Monday as he went undercover to determine how a homeless mentally ill resident could survive. Codey, who served as New Jersey Governor for 14 months in 2004 and 2005, has long been an advocate for the mentally disabled.
NBC News reports that Codey took to the makeup chair for over an hour on Monday to get prepared for the role. He wore a fake beard and had phony tattoos. His teeth were made to look tobacco-stained and his face was altered to appear worn and tired.
The State Senator then took to the streets of Newark trying to find a shelter that would accept him for the night. This task would not prove to be an easy one for Codey as shelter after shelter turned him down. Most shelters in Newark required their occupants to be officially registered for government assistance.
"To find a place to take you if you're homeless was impossible essentially, unless you're on some government entitlement program," Codey told NBC News.
From Millburn Patch

Other media covered the story:
CBS News
Huffington Post

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