TRENTON - Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin to increase support for emergency shelter services during Code Blue alerts in severely cold weather passed the full Assembly today.
This bill (A4177) allows county homelessness trust funds to be used to help support the provision of code blue homeless shelter services.
Currently, county homelessness trust fund monies may only be used for permanent affordable housing. This bill would allow the funds to be used for homeless shelter services that are provided in connection with a Code Blue alert issued because of a cold weather emergency.
Pintor Marin said permitting county homelessness trust funds to serve as an additional source of funding will help ensure that homeless shelters can continue to provide a critical service at a time when these organizations have limited funding resources.
"We need to do all we can to ensure Code Blue shelters have the resources they need to continue their life-saving efforts, especially on days like this, when the temperature barely rises above single digits," Pintor Marin said. "There are over 8,000 homeless people in New Jersey who can seek shelter from the cold in dozens of warming stations across New Jersey during Code Blue alerts, when severe cold may threaten their lives."
Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, Troy Singleton, Assemblwoman Joann Downey and Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz joined Pintor Marin as primary sponsors of the legislation.
The legislation previously passed the Senate and now heads to the governor's desk for his consideration.