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Homeless Rally In Lakewood This Sunday

Tent City Lakewood NJ, Tent City's Official Web Site

This coming Sunday June 3rd, the Lakewood town square will be filled with the homeless and people who want to help them. A dozen community service and religious organizations are hosting a “Rally of Hope for Ocean County’s Homeless” in the center of the Township’s downtown area off Clifton Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets.

Jackson Kiwanis Club President Larry Meegan says there will be grooming stations, voter registration and a number of seminars that include workshops for the homeless. Meegan says for the homeless, they will be “discussing things about their safety and how they can procure certain services.” He says there will also be “seminars that are geared toward people looking to see how it is they can help the homeless.”

Meegan says there will also be seminars to help people who are already heavily engaged in assisting the homeless. People from other counties who are running successful homeless programs have been invited to speak. He says they will also be holding a discussion for religious leaders to take up the issue of homelessness as a social justice issue.

Lakewood has been thrust into the spotlight of Ocean County’s homeless issue as it tries to legally evict a homeless enclave, known as tent city, living in a wooded area of the township’s public land. The case is presently in the hands of a mediator.

Homeless advocates have been calling for a county-run homeless shelter but county officials say that no such entity exists in the state. They’ve also been calling for the County to adopt a Homelessness Trust Fund by adding an additional charge to transactions in the County Clerk’s Office.

The rally will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will feature a meal for participants along with free haircuts, blood pressure readings and information tables with the distribution of toiletries and food.

The Homeless Rally was originally scheduled for mid April, but was postponed due to rain.

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