Monday, July 30, 2012

Veterans Job Fair at Brookdale August 27

Friday, 27 July 2012 13:49
Dear Editor;
I am retired from the U.S. Army and currently operations administer at Brookdale Community College. I am coordinating a Veterans Job Fair to be held August 27 at the Brookdale Lincroft main campus. The event also welcomes friends, family and community who are seeking employment or services. It will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Warner Student Life Center.
We have the goal of 100 vendor participants who may attend the event at no charge. To date, the response has been great. We also have workshops such as the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Brookdale Community College to present on how to start a small business and how to apply for small business loans. NJVet Biz will be conducting a presentation, “Business Assistance for Veterans – Fact vs Fiction.”
We couldn’t do this event without the generous sponsor support of the Jersey Shore Jewish War Veterans Post 125-Ocean Township, the Monmouth County One Stop Career Center Neptune NJ, Monmouth County Workforce Investment Board and the NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College.
If any vendors just learning of this event would like to be part of the Job Fair, Please contact me at 732-224-2068 or e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . And be sure to spread the word about this free event for the community.
Thank you for your support,
Jerry J. Russell

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tent City asks for your help


    As the summer temperature do the needs of the homeless.  With the hot and humid weather upon us, it is difficult for anyone to find relief without using some form of modern day amenities to enjoy a cooler environment.  Imagine not having that option.  The homeless residents remain outdoors through any and all weather conditions and their needs are still great regardless of the season.  Tent City is also experiencing a rise in the number of residents coming into the camp and that is why this request is so urgent.  We greatly appreciate any help that you are willing to provide and have attached the 2012 Summer Needs list.  Please call Minister Steve, ahead of time, at (732) 364-0340 so that items can be properly stored and/or distributed evenly among the residents. 

Thank you, in advance, from all the residents of Tent City and God Bless!
¨ Sleeping bags
¨ Cots
¨ Tents: 8 Man Capacity or Larger
¨ Tarps: 16’ X 20’ and Larger
¨ Paper Products: Paper Plates, Paper Towels, & Cups
¨ Plastic Flatware: Forks, Spoons and Knives
¨ Pots & Pans
¨ Bottled Water: any size
¨ Eggs & Milk
¨ Frozen Hamburgers or Hotdogs
¨ Gift Card: Grocery Store
¨ Gift Card: K Mart or Wal-Mart
¨ Toiletries: Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash
¨ Towels

Gates Foundation: a stable home = a stable education

Here’s a link to story about how an innovative project in Tacoma, Washington is helping homeless families find stability AND improving their children’s outcomes in school.
It’s called the McCarver Elementary Special Housing Program in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma. The project is showing so many signs of promise that U.S. Deputy Secretary of HUD Maurice Jones visited the school this week. 
To read the story, click here.


The forwarded e-mail below represents a real opportunity to raise the issue of homelessness and advocate for "housing first" as the most treatment-effective, not to mention cost-effective, means of addressing the problems and needs in question.  (Many of the targeted populations are living in Tent City, or are unsheltered  at other locations.  Even those temporarily doubled- or tripled-up with other households, or in motels/apartments with time-limited emergency assistance, are at risk of imminent homelessness.)

The public meetings identified in the notice open the door to advocating for creative approaches.  For example, in addition to "housing first", related mobile treatment models - as pointed out by Jeannette Riviere in reference to "Project Renewal" - constitute a meaningful adjunct approach.  They can serve as an initial point of contact, a sort of mobile "shelter", with screening and other services, followed by "housing first".  They also would provide an effective way to deliver services to "housing first" recipients after they are housed.  (Here is a link to the "Project Renewal" website: .)

It is important for advocates to attend these meetings to make sure that the issue of "homelessness" is identified and discussed, and that the extreme shortage of affordable housing is recognized as not only the source of so much homelessness, but also as a major impediment to effective and successful treatment of those with substance abuse, mental illness, and others in need of help.   Increasing the supply of truly affordable dwellings is a necessity if treatment is to succeed over the long-term.

Those who can attend should register now, using the link in the notice. At our next H.E.L.P /Workforce Housing meeting - August 13, 2012 at 7 p.m. at PCTR (the first notice will go out this week) - we will also discuss the best way to approach the hearings from an advocacy perspective.

Thanks.  See you on the 13th.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Update on OC Homeless litigation

Attorney Jeff Wild reported Monday:

In the Ocean County Homeless Litigation, a court conference was held today before the Honorable Joseph L. Foster. Although the people of Tent City continue to manage well during the warm weather, it was great to hear Judge Foster express concern about the unsheltered homeless -- and the very real possibility that this winter will not be as mild as the last one. In other developments today:
1. Safety Issue.  Shortly after Lakewood failed in its motion for summary judgment, it blocked off one of the two roads to Tent City -- thereby blocking emergency vehicles from getting in and out of Tent City quickly if necessary. Today, we raised this safety issue with the Court, and Lakewood agreed to restore roads in and out of Tent City.
2. Waste of Taxpayer Money Revealed. Through mediation, we continue to discuss the problem of homelessness with the attorneys for Lakewood and Ocean County.  The scope of the problem, including the current waste of taxpayer dollars on motel rooms for the homeless, is staggering. We have learned that, just in 2011, more than $6.3 million of taxpayer dollars was wasted by Ocean County on tens of thousands of motel rooms and other "band-aid" solutions -- wasting money at a time when Ocean County is also turning away homeless men, women and children, leaving them with no choice but to sleep outside. Concrete proposals are expected to be made soon.  If no solution is reached in the mediation, the litigation will continue.
Thanks to all the members of the Coalition and the homeless who were in the courtroom today, standing in unity. Judge Foster set the next status conference for August 21st at 9 a.m. at the Superior Court in Toms River, Courtroom 3.


The NJ Coalition to End Homelessness, based in Trenton, is dedicated to pursuing emergency and permanent solutions to homelessness throughout New Jersey, where tens of thousands of men, women and children are homeless each year.  NJCEH's Board of Trustees includes leaders from such prominent NJ organizations as the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Homefront NJ,  the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center, United Way of Hudson County, R. B. Coe Development and Consulting, LLC, and Lowenstein Sandler PC.  For details, see or contact Tonya Bryan, Executive Director, at

Economic distress does a job on children

USA Today reports:
The percentage of children living in poverty in the U.S. is on the rise, according to the new Kids Count report, which also finds more children living in single-parent homes and with parents struggling to afford housing.
And the results are not good.

For the complete story:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Food stamps - SNAP

Here is a link to the Department of Human Services NJ SNAP (food stamps) program with Spanish links. Click here

Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties help you navigate the programs

The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties has a page to help people navigate thru the assistance programs, especially the food stamp application process (SNAP.)  It is also in Spanish.

Click here.

Veterans Retraining Assistance Program

Congress passed, and the President has signed into law, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. Included in this new law is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). VRAP offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans.
The VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to Veterans who:
  • Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • Are unemployed on the date of application
  • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
  • Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
  • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program
The program is limited to 45,000 participants from July 1, 2012, through September 30, 2012, and 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Participants may receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program (currently $1,473 per month). DOL will offer employment assistance to every Veteran who participates upon completion of the program.
Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.

For mor information visit the US Department of Veteran Services web site:

Status conference scheduled for Monday

You can show your support for the homeless by attending the upcoming status conference Monday July 23rd @ 9:45 am. (It was to be Tuesday but has been moved up one day.)

The status conference will be in the OC Courthouse (100 Hooper Av) in Courtroom 3, I believe.  The conference may be held in the judge's chambers so the public may not be able to witness it (which is common), but it will still show support for the homeless.

Jeff Wild said, "There are no scheduled motions, so this could be very brief and unexciting, but I am always happy to touch base with any of you as long as we are there."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tent City's Steve Brigham awarded NJ state Governor's Jefferson Award

According to a story in, Tent City's Steve Brigham was a recipient of the NJ State Governor's Jefferson Award.  To read the article click here .

For several months prior to the event, The Star-Ledger and The New Jersey State Governor's Office on Volunteerism accepted nominations which were reviewed by a panel of judges. Winners from across the Garden State were for their exceptional community service and acts of charity.

"The Governor's Jefferson Awards highlights the great service of New Jersey's 1.5 million volunteers who are making a difference in our state," Edward O'Malley, Chair, Governor's Office of Volunteerism.

"The Governor's Jefferson Award honors ordinary people who, through volunteer service, do extraordinary things for other people," Linda Bowden, President, PNC Northern New Jersey.

Foreclosure Prevention Presentation July 31

Foreclosure Prevention Presentation

Tuesday, July 31 at 7:00pm
in the Green Room, Ocean County Library
Toms River Branch
101 Washington St., Toms River, NJ
by Victoria Lindsey
of NJ Citizen Action

NJ Citizen Action (a HUD certified agency) celebrating
it’s 30th year, is the state's largest citizen watchdog coalition
working to protect and expand the rights
of individuals and families.

This program is free and open to all.
(Space, however, is limited.)

Sponsored by the Jersey Shore Catholic Worker, a ministry to the
poor and homeless in Ocean County -- in the tradition of
the international Catholic Worker Movement.

For additional information:

Homelss vets now have their own roof

Homeless Rural Vets Find A Place To Call Home

Veteran job assistance gets $20M grant

Homeless Veterans To Get Job Assistance Thanks To $20 Million In Department Of Labor Grants

July 3, 2012
Huffington Post article: here.