Gov. Chris Christie stopped at LBI last week, bashing the state government for not passing his budget and answering questions from the public. The Sandpaper (Aug 2, 2012) said in one response to a question about overcrowding at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, the homeless contributed to the crime rate in Atlantic City.
From the article:
Dr. Melinda Boye-Nolan also asked that the state respect the area’s influx of homeless people. A board member of Family Promise of Southern Ocean County, a nonprofit interfaith organization based in Barnegat that helps needy families, she said she was concerned about the recent lawsuit against the county on behalf of the Atlantic City Rescue Mission. Looking for Christie’s advice on the matter, she said Family Promise has been sending the county’s homeless to the mission because Ocean County has no shelter to offer them.
In response, Christie said the mission is inundated with homeless people from many counties around southern New Jersey, and the problem is contributing to the city’s crime rate. He said it’s unfair to the homeless and to the city, especially while it’s trying to revitalize itself as a resort destination. He thought the situation needed better coordination among the different counties, which he said Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez would look into.
“This is a real problem,” said Christie. “… Lots of folks are sending homeless to Atlantic County, many more than the mission can handle. The homeless folks are just sleeping on the streets in Atlantic City; they have no place else to go,” he explained. “The mission down there does great work and does a great job, but they only have so much capacity. And when they can’t take people, and people begin to get turned away, it’s creating a bigger problem in Atlantic County.”