Cruz-Perez Meets with Volunteers of America, Discusses Legislature’s Proposed Funding for Re-Entry Programs

Volunteers of America

CAMDEN – Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez visited Volunteers of American yesterday. She  was moved by the work they are doing to help New Jersey’s most vulnerable individuals and highlighted the $8 million in the legislature plans to allocate to re-entry services in its proposed FY2019 budget.

“Re-entry programs like this are essential to reducing recidivism around the country and right here in New Jersey,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Volunteers of America helps individuals get on their feet and find success after they are released from prison. We must continue to support these life changing efforts.”

Among many other services, Volunteers of America helps formerly incarcerated individuals transition from prison to productive lives through a variety of services including helping them to find employment and housing.

“We truly appreciate Senator Cruz-Perez coming out to discuss the work that we do here. However, the reduction in funding the governor has proposed will seriously hinder our ability to provide crucial services to this vulnerable population,” said Dan Lombardo, president and CEO of Volunteers for America New Jersey. “NJ leads the US in prison reform and programs for offenders. The proposed cuts would impact our programs and would be seen as a reversal of these reforms. We hope the Governor will see the value in our efforts and approve the Legislature’s budget.”

“We cannot allow for the most vulnerable in our community to be left behind to fend for themselves. Our budget funds Volunteers of America and programs like it which work to uplift all New Jerseyans,” said Senator Cruz-Perez. “The Governor must approve funding for this invaluable community resource which benefits not only those it services but our society as a whole.”

While the governor’s proposed budget cuts funding for re-entry programs, the Legislature’s budget allocates $8 million in funding for re-entry programs around the state including Volunteers of America.