Stop Thousands of Chronically Disabled People From Becoming Homeless

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Target: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Goal: Renew emergency assistance programs for the disabled so they don’t become homeless.

Thousands of chronically disabled New Jersey residents are facing homelessness due to Governor Chris Christie’s refusal to renew emergency assistance programs. This is the largest sudden change in policy for people at risk of being homeless since the early 1990s. Those affected include the terminally ill who are too sick to work and won’t be able to survive living on the streets. Social service workers and welfare officials are shocked that the Christie administration would terminate assistance to vulnerable residents without providing an alternative housing program.

The emergency assistant programs that were available to the disabled, terminally ill and unemployed expired in 2012. A three-year extension was given for the state to determine if residents were eligible for permanent housing and to find a replacement program. That extension has expired and the Christie administration announced they have no replacement program to offer. The supplemental income the qualifying residents have been living off of are insufficient to cover rent due to New Jersey’s affordable housing shortage.

Christie’s actions since he’s been in office have contributed to the current crisis. After being elected, Christie vetoed New Jersey’s millionaire’s tax, a separate tax on households within the top 0.2 percent income bracket that provided hundreds of millions in much needed revenue for the state. He’s also lifted limits on how much New Jersey can give to corporations and developers. Christie’s given $6 billion in corporate tax breaks, yet won’t spend the $15 million required to keep thousands of residents off the streets. His policies, coupled with New Jersey’s high unemployment rate and expensive rental prices, are setting residents up for failure.

Christie is allowing his most vulnerable residents to be on the streets during the cold holiday season, while expanding corporate prosperity. Demand that the governor implement an emergency assistant program before New Jersey’s sick and disabled become homeless.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Christie,

As a leader for the state of New Jersey, you are responsible for the welfare of all of your residents. Your state’s affordable housing shortages and high unemployment rate has put residents in a crisis situation, which you’ve furthered through your shortfalls in funding assistance programs. You have neglected the residents who need you the most, those who are terminally ill or disabled, by not renewing a housing program for them. Your administration’s main priority should be providing emergency assistance to these people before they end up on the streets.

New Jersey’s budget is in a desperate situation due to your massive tax subsidies to corporations, and the community is feeling the impact. You claimed that the tax breaks would create jobs, which has not happened. Your policies show your lack of care for the working class people of your state, including the lack of funding to the state’s retirement system and assistance programs.

The people who are going to end up on the streets won’t be able to survive on their own. I am urging you to please provide an emergency assistant housing program for the sick and disabled in your state, before thousands of vulnerable residents become homeless.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Pixabay

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