I am happy to announce that on Thursday morning, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders cut the ribbon that officially opened the County's adult homeless shelter at Fort Monmouth.

The original shelter was wiped out during Superstorm Sandy but now, the new facility is open and ready to help those in need.

“We have an obligation to help our Monmouth County residents who may not be able to help themselves due to a number of circumstances,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering.

This new facility can house up to 16 residents for 30 days each.

There is a 12-bed dorm for men, a four-bed dorm for women, and separate restrooms and showers. The facility also includes a laundry room, a 16-person dining area, a kitchen, a computer nook, a television seating area, clothing sorting and storage area, a counseling office and a security desk.

“Homelessness is a life-altering circumstance that can be attributed to a number of factors, such as lack of affordable housing and absence of services to help with mental illnesses and substance abuse issues,” said Freeholder Susan M. Kiley, liaison to the Department of Human Services. “Through the new shelter, the County and AHA will be able to deliver temporary relief and quality support to this extremely vulnerable population.”

I cannot even imagine not knowing where I am going to get my next meal or where I can rest my head at night. It must be one of the scariest things any human being can face.

Break the stigma and get involved when you see these types of facilities built to help those around you. You never know when your own luck could change and you are the one who needs help.

For more information on housing services in Monmouth County, visit VisitMonmouth.com.

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