Rep. Sherrill Meets with Housing Alliance of Morris County to Discuss COVID-19 Impact

July 22, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC -- Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) held a virtual meeting on housing security and homelessness response during COVID-19 with representatives from sixteen Morris County housing-related organizations last week. The discussion focused on how members of the Housing Alliance of Morris County are meeting the incredible challenges of the pandemic across the spectrum of populations they serve, including individuals, families, veterans, survivors of domestic violence, and those with mental health conditions.

“The work these organizations are doing in Morris County and across the community is always critical, but never more so than in the face of this pandemic,” said Representative Sherrill. “We covered so many important topics in this meeting such as the impact of shelters operating at reduced capacity due to COVID, the potential for a surge in evictions, and the critical safety net provided by expanded unemployment insurance. I am so grateful for this valuable feedback from the community that I am taking with me to Washington this week as I advocate for further coronavirus legislation.”

“The Morris County non-profit community is very fortunate to have such a good friend and strong advocate as Rep. Sherrill and her staff,” said Russ Hall, Chair of the Housing Alliance of Morris County. “While many different, important issues concerning the impact of COVID-19 on local agencies and the folks they serve were raised last week, what to me seems unmistakable is that if nothing is done at the federal level to deal with the potential wave of evictions and homelessness, we will all be overwhelmed.”

“Housing in our community was already a challenge for many pre-Covid,” said Joann Bjornson, CEO of Family Promise of Morris County. Now, Housing as Community Healthcare is even more critical to ensure the health and safety of everyone. If people are not housed they cannot shelter in place, wash their hands, or protect themselves or the community. Imagine school as challenging as it is now, with the threat of eviction looming over you.  We appreciate the opportunity, along with our partners, to work with Congresswoman Sherrill to support the CARES Act, which provides a safety net to keep people housed as we navigate the current health and economic crisis. We thank our neighbors for their continued support!”

“Domestic violence survivors are not safe right now, and resources are incredibly strained,” said Diane Williams, CEO of JBWS. “Individuals who are staying in DV shelters throughout the country need to move to temporary accommodation to leave the communal setting. Those who just got on their feet in their own housing are threatened with job loss and eviction. And, many others are still trapped at home with their abuser. In order to properly serve survivors during this pandemic, the physical and financial needs of domestic violence service providers have increased, and we have shared these critical needs with Congresswoman Sherrill who has provided unwavering support to families impacted by domestic violence.”

Representative Sherrill was joined by the following Housing Alliance of Morris County Participants:

Dan McGuire, CEO, Homeless Solutions, Inc.

Russ Hall, Chair, Housing Alliance of Morris County

Diane Williams, CEO, JBWS

Carmine Deo, CEO, Community Hope

Blair Schleicher Wilson, CEO, Morris Habitat for Humanity

Tanya Van Order, Dep Director, Madison Housing Authority

Osman Davies, Chair, Morris County Fair Housing Committee

Arnold Cohen, Senior Policy Advisor, Housing and Community Development Network of NJ

Jane Shivas, Program Coordinator, Project Self-Sufficiency

Kelly A. Stephens, Executive Director, Housing Authority County of Morris

Jeff Bashe, Morris County Human Services Advisory Committee

Rose Brown, Senior Director of Programs, Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, Inc. 

Jessica Padilla Gonzalez, Executive Director, Housing Partnership

Maria Tchinchinian, Executive Director, Housing Authority, Town of Dover

Joann Bjornson, Executive Director, Family Promise of Morris County

Matt Hersh, Housing and Community Development Network of NJ

 

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