Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton and the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders announce the creation of a Homeless Trust Fund and Ten Year Plan to Reduce Homelessness.
The homeless issue in Cape May County and throughout the country has been a serious concern for many government and faith based organizations. The Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders, under the leadership of Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton, has worked with community homeless advocates to create a Homeless Trust Fund to provide financial assistance and put in place a long term plan to reduce homelessness in Cape May County.
“Homelessness is not a problem that impacts a single group of people, and it is not merely defined as someone living on the street or in a shelter. It happens across many segments of our population and often to our most vulnerable residents – youth, families with children, our seniors, and people with disabilities. The root causes of homelessness are often complex and frequently are intertwined with the issues of substance abuse, mental illness, and chronic health problems, and these must be considered while formulating our long term plan as well. It happens for many different reasons, and those impacted face a range of obstacles when they take steps to find housing," said Freeholder Director Thornton.
The plan that is being developed by Cape May County will take a long-term, comprehensive approach that prioritizes prevention, supportive services, community involvement, financial resources and affordable housing options. We need a multi-system response that coordinates the County efforts along with community agencies and faith-based organizations all of whom we have worked well with over many years.
Thornton continued, “Even though the law does not charge any level of government with the responsibility for solving homelessness, it is a problem that all levels of government are feeling compelled to spend an ever-increasing amount of resources to contain. This has resulted in a fragmented approach that seems to place a band aid on the problem at times. It does not thoroughly examine the problem, nor do the efforts result in real changes that have lasting success. Cape May County decided to take a different approach and develop and implement a comprehensive, long term plan that will have lasting success.”