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Photos courtesy ofHRG Homeless and low income resource guide
Theyspoke about what is happening at the shelter and the services provided. Alsothey answered questions about rumors and grievances that people had about therunning of the shelter. When someone isdischarged from the shelter, they explained basically people don’t abide by therules. They explained about the grievance and appeals process.
Some ofthe topics that were asked about were regarding complaints about neighborsdealing with talk about shelter people messing up resident’s lawns, doing drugsin the area and other things like panhandling at local stores. The truth of thematter is that not all the problems in the area have to do with the shelterpeople. Julia mentioned that the new administration is in the county and thatthey need to know what is going on, that not all the problems are with shelterpeople. She explained to them what’s going on. It was mentioned that one daythey would actually have a cleanup where people of the community and the shelterwill clean up sections of Hackensack which is a great idea. This is called: “Slamdunk the junk” Saturday April 26 Rain or shine-Hackensack Cleanup day Sponsoredby NJ-Dep. The registration forms will be in “next Step” at the Bergen county shelter!
Dealingwith the police and the local government is a challenge in certain areas but isworking with them and doing things like making the curfew for guests at theshelter earlier accept for thoughts thatwork As Well as issuing I.D. Cards at the shelter. One person replied, that isa good idea because there is no good reason to be out late if you’re not beingproductive. Another person stated that they thought it was bad being “cooped”up. Julia and Mary replied; “it’s also a good incentive to get what you need fromthe shelter, utilize the services and get housed, then you can stay out and dowhat you want”.
Most ofthe discussion was positive. There were a couple of people that did not agreewith certain things but that is to be expected. You can’t please everyone. They talked aboutbasic policy and changes made over the years since the existence of the newshelter. It’s an ongoing process.
Thereare many opportunities at the shelter and services for homeless and low incomein our area. They have to have solid rules which evolve as time goes on and thesituations of people evolve and as Julia said it’s “organizes chaos”. They werevery honest and basically saying that the staff is dealing with what they haveand the guest they are helping. Their honesty was commendable. They spoke about getting many people housingand other services like General Assistance(GA), temporary rental assistance(TRA) and permanent housing. When you’redealing with many people from all different walks of life, including thoughtswith serious problems there will be challenges.
All inall it was very productive meeting and not really much drama. There are so manythings that people can get out of the shelter. And the ones that are not in theshelter they try to help them find suitable places. They work with everyonethat they can. There is still much work to do. Bottom line is it is not ahangout it is a place to get your life back on track and they are working withthe community and homeless and low income to get their goals met. Simply, “dowhat you got to do”! And if you have a problem with them, do the appealsprocess and get back on track and move on. Remember, some people want to getbetter, some don’t realize they have problems and some are not yet motivated but most do the right thing and have a betterlife.
For more information on the shelter call them at:201-336-6475 or drop in; they arelocated at 120 so. River Street Hackensack NJ 07601
If you want to know what they have or need more resourcesyou can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org