Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney (R-LD40) attended a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser to support homeless veterans at American Legion Post 57 in Waldwick.
The event benefitted the NJ American Legion’s Commander Project, which focuses on the problems of homeless veterans. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs estimates that New Jersey has an estimated 2,000 homeless veterans. Many have histories of PTSD, previous addictions, suicide attempts and other forms of mental illness. The 2016-2017 Commander Project will raise funds for “Hope for Veterans” at Community Hope.
“Hope for Veterans” is the largest and most comprehensive program for homeless veterans in New Jersey. It is a 95 transitional housing program located in Parsippany. Last year, they initiated a pilot program that hosted an onsite Mental Health therapist that led to a significant decrease in addiction relapses and fewer hospitalizations for psychiatric issues. The goal of the Commander Project is to provide the funding needed to make this program a permanent part of their services.
The Project will also fund improvements to Veterans Haven North and Veterans Haven South. These programs also provide transitional housing and other services for homeless veterans. The Project will purchase 15 new computers and 30 computer chairs for Veterans Haven North, and will fund the construction of a 12 foot gazebo and patio furniture for Veterans Haven South to provide a place for peace and relaxation. Attending with me was Assembly Candidate Christopher DePhillips and Mike Mazzeo who is Junior Vice Dept. Commander of Legion Post 57.