|[June 30, 2014]
Homeless in Lakewood Tent City Housed!
LAKEWOOD, N.J. --(Business Wire)--
In an example of government-private cooperation unprecedented in the
nation, a New Jersey tent city was closed the right way: through
housing. Approximately 120 homeless men and women who participated in a
court-ordered census will all be out of the woods and in safe, indoor
housing for at least a year. In a joint announcement, Lakewood's Deputy
Mayor, Albert Akerman, and Jeff Wild of the Lowenstein Sandler law firm,
counsel for the homeless, proudly commended the efforts of all involved,
particularly Mike McNeil, President of Solutions to End Poverty Soon
("STEPS"), to place the homeless residents of Tent City into housing and
out ofthe woods where, for years, a community of people had lived,
including through cold and sometimes deadly winters.
Lakewood Tent City had been the subject of national and international
attention, as a result of a multi-year court case that Lakewood and the
homeless were able to resolve through a court-supervised housing
Jeff Wild stated: "I am thrilled to have worked cooperatively with
Lakewood and STEPS to get all of this law firm's clients housed. This is
also a great precedent for further cooperation with Ocean County to
address homelessness." Mr. Wild is also a founder and trustee of the New
Jersey Coalition to End Homelessness, a non-profit that advocates for
the end of homelessness throughout New Jersey. Mayor Akerman stated:
"Today is what we in Lakewood have wanted all along: the official
closure date for Tent City with the closing done the right way, by
helping these people get housed in a fair and compassionate way."
One former resident of Tent City, Tonya Henderson, who is now housed and
looking for a new job put it: "With a little bad luck, anyone could end
up homeless. I am so grateful to be out of the woods and in housing."
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