The impact of homelessness on our region is impossible to ignore. Here in Hoboken, that impact is amplified by the tight population density and stark economic inequality.
There has been plenty of talk about public safety concerns, aesthetic concerns, property value concerns… and, what should be first and foremost in the conversation, the overarching humanitarian concerns.
A lot of people say, “someone should do something.” Well, someone is trying—but they could use your help.
On Friday, October 2 and Saturday, October 3, The Waterfront Project, Inc.—a center for outreach, advocacy and justice—will assemble the local community for a Summit on homelessness to raise awareness and explore viable solutions to help the homeless in Hudson County.
Calling on elected community officials, education providers and religious and advocacy leaders, the Summit will not only allow the public an opportunity to better understand homelessness, but present tangible proposals to address it and provide more sustainable solutions.
An expert panel comprised of leaders in the national homeless discussion, moderated by Seton Hall School of Law Dean, Kathleen Boozang, will address a variety of issues surrounding homelessness in addition to laying out blueprints for taking community action. Panelists include Professor Kim Hawkins (New York School of Law, Expertise in at-risk youth and LGBT homelessness), Professor John Jacobi (Dorothea Dix Professor of Health Law & Policy, Faculty Director, Seton Hall Law Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy), Dr. Victor Carlson (Chief of Homeless Service, VA Hospitals of NJ) and Randi Moore (Division Chief, Hudson County Division of Housing & Community Development).
After the panel, attendees are invited to take place in an all-night vigil, sleeping outside to further experience the plight of homelessness. To accompany the vigil, Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity members from Stevens Institute of Technology, will engineer makeshift shelters located outside DeBaun auditorium for those sleeping outdoors.
On Saturday October 3, from 9-11 AM, officials, attendees and homeless alike, will join together for a walk along the waterfront. Following the walk, from 11 AM – 2 PM on October 3, the Summit will conclude with a Homeless Help Village, sponsored by CarePoint Health Foundation. The Help Village aims to further raise awareness through provision of direct services made available to the homeless within the community. Attendees will be able to take advantage of a free hot meal provided by Campus Kitchen of St Peter’s University, Jersey City, as well as on-site medical check-ups, clean clothing donations and more.
“It is through these provisions and outlining of issues that the Waterfront Project Inc. seeks to preserve the human dignity of the local homeless and engage the community to take part in a more effective way of addressing homelessness,” says Executive Director Elizabeth F. Caraballo, Esq.