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Are Homelessness Policies Threatening AC’s Future?

Is Atlantic City’s usefulness as a homelessness sanctuary at odds with the goal of becoming a renewed tourism hub? State legislators who represent the district plan to air out the issue Tuesday.

Flickr User Shinya Suzuki

Assemblymen John Amodeo and Chris Brown (R-2) sponsor a measure that would stem the flow of displaced people from various parts of the state to Atlantic City.

A-2897 would require local and county officials throughout New Jersey to certify that their support systems for homeless individuals are insufficient before sending them elsewhere. It would be determined by certified analyses.

Ocean County is among those that contract with the Atlantic City Rescue Mission to support homeless people seeking help. It’s one of several dozen programs that involve scores of local and regional non-profits, faith-based shelters, soup kitchens, and hotels with available space.

Problems have arisen because Ocean County’s allocation for the Rescue Mission is shrinking while the number of homeless people remains fluidly consistent. It’s resulted in legal action against the County by the Mission to recover extraneous expenses that have reached tens of thousands of dollars.

The lawmakers are bringing Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) to their presentation at Kennedy Plaza on the Boardwalk.

“Atlantic City plays a vital role in South Jersey’s economy and attracting tourists to our state,” said Bramnick in a prepared statement. “Assemblymen Amodeo and Brown know firsthand the importance tourism and gaming play in keeping the city and the region vibrant. Their hard work on this issue will ensure Atlantic City’s success and benefit the entire state.”

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