Measure to Tap Tax Contributions to Fund Housing, Rehabilitation Services
TRENTON – The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today passed legislation sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden and Assemblymen Paul Moriarty and David R Mayer which would allow residents to donate a portion of their tax returns for a special fund to support the state’s transitional housing and rehabilitation services for homeless veterans who have substance abuse problems.
“We need to take action that restores dignity and purpose to those who so unselfishly laid their lives on the line for our country,” said Madden (D Gloucester/Camden). “Programs like Veterans Haven give Veterans a chance to receive psychological, social and vocational rehabilitation so they can return to the society they fought so hard to protect.”
The measure (S-1496/A-2663) would establish the “New Jersey Veterans Haven Support Fund,” to be sponsored by donations from taxpayers who decide to contribute a portion of their state gross income tax refund or make a one-time gift to the New Jersey Veterans Safe Haven program.
“The residents of our state can make a world of difference and have an enormous impact on the lives of our veterans,” said Moriarty (D Gloucester/Camden). “Increased resources can help give our veterans with substance-abuse issues a better chance to get on the straight and narrow path for a better life.”
Veterans Haven is a transitional housing program that assists military veterans in need of psychological, social, and vocational rehabilitation services. The program provides residents with access to support staff and resources while they complete an addiction treatment program based on their individual needs.
“Additional support and funding can provide our homeless veterans with one more opportunity to turn their lives around,” said Mayer (D- Camden/Gloucester). “Veterans Haven promotes independence by giving men and women who have sacrificed for our country a renewed sense of self-sufficiency through a safe, secure, and caring environment.”
New Jersey Veterans Haven has served more than 625 homeless veterans since it was founded in 1966. The program’s success has continued to grow during the last decade with nearly 72 percent of participating veterans returning to society fully employed, living on their own, and free of substance abuse.
The measure now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.