TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Colin Bell to combat homelessness of military veterans was approved today by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Senator Bell’s legislation (S-3449) would allow counties to prioritize grants from county homelessness trust funds for veterans.
“Over the course of my career in government, I have worked hard make sure we provide care for the men and women who served in the Armed Forces,” said Senator Bell (D-Atlantic). “As a freeholder, I tried to allocate funds specifically for veterans from the county homelessness trust fund but was told we could not. This is a simple fix that will allow counties across the state to improve their efforts to protect veterans from homelessness.”
Under the bill, the governing body of a county may by resolution establish a preference for veterans that gives first priority, in the distribution of grants, for the benefit of homeless veterans, including those at risk of homelessness. The trust funds may be used to develop affordable housing, provide rental assistance, and provide supportive and preventative services to aid the homeless or those at risk of homelessness.
The bill was approved by a vote of 4-0. It now heads to the full Senate for a vote.