The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders at its regular meeting Sept. 18 recognized the County’s efforts to end veteran homelessness, and also called for the County and its residents to take a stand against this social issue with renewed fervor.
The Freeholders announced Middlesex County’s official resolution to join First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.’”
This initiative calls for local, federal, and nonprofit organizations to join together and grant all homeless veterans access to permanent housing and housing stability. The movement’s goal, which the Freeholders encouraged all 25 County municipalities to participate in, is to end veteran homelessness by 2015.
Freeholder Blanquita B. Valenti, Chair of the Community Services Committee, presented the Freeholders’ Resolution to Maria Maio-Massano, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) NJ Field Office Director. HUD is the agency charged with this mission.
Maio-Massano thanked the County for its efforts and for encouraging others to do so.
In presenting the resolution, Freeholder Valenti, a longtime advocate for homeless assistance, said: “Middlesex County is committed to ending veteran homelessness in our County. The goal will be achieved when there are no veterans sleeping on the street, when every veteran has access to permanent housing and when communities have the capacity to quickly connect veterans to the help they need to achieve housing stability.”
The Middlesex’s County Veterans Services Program was the only recipient this year of a national award for best exemplifying private-public coordination and leveraging resources to assist homeless veterans.
Members of local veterans, religious and non-profit organizations, who partner with the County, attended last night’s meeting to be recognized for their work.
“I am extremely proud of the success of this program and of our partnerships with so many groups to help our veterans,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Our veterans have put themselves into harm’s way to preserve our freedom. It is our duty and privilege to help them when they get back home to get them the services they need.”