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Beach Legislation To Create Veterans Haven Council Clears Senate

Senator James Beach addresses his new colleagues in the Legislature.

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Beach (D-Camden) that would create a Veterans Haven Council within the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has passed the full Senate.

“Caring for our veterans is more than just looking out for them while they are overseas. It means ensuring they can get the care they need and deserve when they return. It should not be too much to ask that a veteran have a place to live and access to treatment and care services after they have served their country,” said Beach.

The bill, A-4111/S-2998, would create a Veterans Haven Council consisting of eight members. At least five of the members would have to be veterans and at least two would have to be women. The Council would develop policies for the coordination of services for the veterans housed at the Veterans Haven facility, consult and advise the Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Affairs and the Director of Veterans Services regarding the work of Veterans Haven, and recommend standards of care, treatment and discipline governing the relationship between Veterans Haven and the residents there.

Veterans Haven is a state-operated facility for homeless veterans located in Winslow Township and run by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs. In addition to housing, homeless veterans receive addiction services and counseling and vocational training while at Veterans Haven. There are an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 homeless veterans living in New Jersey.

The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.