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Camden County rolls out new strategy to curb homelessness

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Camden County freeholders have unveiled a six-point plan to try and curb the county’s high incidence of homelessness.

The key, according to Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, is a coordination of services.

“There are so many resources that are really available. Have all of these resources there so that they can see them, and that way we can help tailor the treatment for that individual so that it meets their particular, specific need.”

Rodriguez is the Freeholder Board’s liaison to the county Health Department.

“When I talk about homelessness, we are talking about different types of scenarios. We have the chronic homeless that you find on the streets. But you also have homeless that are not necessarily sleeping out in the streets. They might be sleeping in a car or couch surfing from place to place.”

She says the biggest challenge is that many individuals have more than one need, “so they find themselves going from one place to the next place to the next place in a circle. And that can be very frustrating, especially when you come to think about the reality about why this person became homeless in the first place.”

“People who are homeless are homeless for a reason. We need to dig under and find out what that reason is,” she said.

That coordination of services will include help on writing resumes for job applications, employment counseling and access to mental health and addiction services in a way that is more accessible for the homeless by reducing the amount of running around that they have to do.

The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development reports that Camden County has between 500 and 600 homeless people on a daily basis.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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